England to Announce 5p Bag Fee

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that the UK government has plans for introducing a 5 pence fee for plastic bags at supermarkets and large chain stores, with details to be revealed at the Liberal Democrat conference this weekend. The bag fee, according to the BBC, would begin after the 2015 election, and the proceeds of the fee would go to charity, not to the government.


Pennsylvania Considers Statewide Bag Fee

In a move which could lead to the first state-wide tax on plastic bags, Pennsylvania's senator Daylin Leach has proposed a $0.02 fee on bags distributed by retail establishments. The bill is SB 1080, and was introduced on August 6th, 2013. According to Kelly Phillips of Forbes, the 2 cent fee would be divided, with one penny going to the retailer to improve their own recycling program, and one penny going to the state.

San Jose Passes Polystyrene Ban

After a debate which has spanned a number of years, San Jose has approved a ban on polystyrene today which will vastly restrict the presence of the plastic foam in the environment. According to an article in the Mercury News by John Woolfolk, the San Jose city council voted 9-2 in favor of passing a bill which would ban polystyrene food containers. The bill would take effect next year beginning with large, chain restaurants, and extending to smaller businesses the following year. According to Woolfolk:


Chico, CA Pushes for Bag Ban Despite Threat of Lawsuit

Chico county, California is resuming the push for its previously stalled plastic bag ban proposal in the wake of Marin county's victory against the plastics lobby in late June. Chico county's bag ban was put on hold after receiving a threat of lawsuit from the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition – an industry group with an interest in promoting the continued use of plastics.

China's 'Green Fence' Policy Stalls US Trash Export Industry

For many, the act of recycling a plastic bottle or aluminum can puts these ubiquitous consumer items out of sight and out of mind. The things these objects are subjected to once they are processed by recycling have long been overlooked by consumers, but for many American exporters, recycling a bottle or a can is just the beginning of its profitable life. Known by its trade name, "scrap", America's recycled garbage is collected into bales and sold on to other countries.

FDA Bans BPA in Infant Formula Packaging

After receiving a great deal of pressure from consumers and activist groups, the United States Food and Drug Administration has announced today that it is placing a ban on bisphenol A in infant formula packaging, a big step for BPA legislation in America.

Los Angeles Becomes Largest City to Ban Plastic Bags

In an unprecedented move for a large city, Los Angeles' city council voted on a bag ban last week, passing the motion 9-1 in favor of requiring stores to phase out plastic bags beginning on January 1st. According to an article by James Nash of Business Week, the legislation voted on by the Los Angeles city council will require companies which make more than $2 million per year or occupy retail space over 10,000 square feet to comply with the ban as of January, while smaller stores would be given until July 1st of 2014 to implement the change.

Sonoma County Supervisors Support Plastic Bag Ban

On Tuesday, the Sonoma county board of supervisors approved an ordinance that would ban plastic bags at the checkout and levy a 10 cent charge for all paper bags distributed to shoppers. According to Brett Wilkison of The Press Democrat, the vote was 4-1 in favor of passing the ordinance, with the sole dissenting vote coming from supervisor David Rabbitt. According to the article:

California Senator Introduces BPA 'Right to Know' Legislation

California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D- Calif.), like many members of the public, has become concerned with the results of studies which demonstrate the harmfulness of bisphenol A to consumers when it is present in food packaging. According to the Breast Cancer Fund's blog, Inside Prevention, Feinstein responded to the growing concerns of her constituency with a new bill which was proposed today. The BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act aims to make consumers aware of the products they purchase which contain the chemical. Writes blogger Janet Nudelman:

Federal Ban on BPA in Food Packaging Introduced in Congress

With the emergence of a number of scientific studies emerge regarding the health effects of bisphenol A, the case for bisphenol A's elimination from food products grows ever stronger. Recent studies have connected the chemical to a myriad of health problems, largely related to hormonal disruptions, and in light of these overwhelming studies, the case for eliminating bisphenol A from the food system has made it to Congress at last.

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