FPA is monitoring proposed Illinois legislation that will “set forth the procedure by which the collection and recycling of plastic bags and film will be accomplished in Illinois.” The legislation imposes many compliance requirements on plastic carryout bag manufacturers including annual registration with state agency, paying an annual registration fee of $500, develop and maintain agency approved recycling plan (including collection and recycling of their plastic bags), submitting reports describing the weight of plastic carryout bags and plastic film sold and collected for recycling in the previous calendar year, and printing the name of the manufacturer on the bag.

While the legislation discusses “plastic film product wrap” which includes “polyethylene wrap used to cover, wrap, or otherwise package consumer goods, such as paper towels, bathroom tissue, cases of sodas, diapers and other dry goods.” The key to the legislative requirements is in the definition in the bill of “manufacturer.” Only the “manufacturers” have to meet the requirements and in this bill “Manufacturer means a manufacturer of plastic carryout bags used or distributed in Illinois.” Therefore, the manufacturers of plastic film product wrap do not have to meet any of the requirements. FPA confirmed this statement with Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Michael Tryon.

The threat of a plastic carryout bag bans is what has driven The American Progressive Bag Alliance (an organization of retail carry bag manufacturers) to support of the legislation. The legislation was first introduced last year in Lake County and made its way to the state legislature. FPA will continue provide updates on the progress of this legislation in the coming months. For more information, contact FPA at (410) 694-0800.