Plastic manufacturers are in no way newbies when it comes to strict regulations on plastic products. Especially in the past few years, the plastic manufacturing industry has been getting hit with restriction after restriction, as well as outright bans on specific plastic products in certain geographic locations.
Ban on plastic micro beads in Connecticut
In June of this year for instance, Connecticut passed a bill banning the sale and manufacturing of plastic micro beads in personal care products, due to their perceived adverse effects on the environment. Even though current plastic materials can be made using biodegradable elements, not every company follows these basic standards of environmental safety. According to a press release issued by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Connecticut would only allow the sale and manufacturing of biodegradable plastics, after its effects on the environment have been carefully monitored and studied.
California puts state-wide ban on all plastic bag products
Don’t forget about the state-wide ban that was placed on all plastic bag manufacturers in California this past September. After being dealt with repercussions following bill SB270, all plastic bags not intended for single use, have been for the most part, outlawed. This coming after public concern that plastic bags alone, are responsible for environmental pollution.
Despite this heavy blow dealt toward the plastic manufacturing industry, plastic manufacturers were not going down without a fight. In February of this year, the American Progressive Bag Alliance gathered the required 500,000 signatures needed to qualify for a referendum, opposing the new bill. The referendum suspends the plastic bag ban until November 2016, when voters will be given the opportunity to vote again.
Plastic manufacturers in Ghana ignore plastic ban
In yet another ban on plastic materials, the country of Ghana in Africa, recently thought it was a great idea to ban plastics throughout the entire country. In spite of the ban, plastic manufacturers and recycling companies alike, have all but ignored the ban, citing that plastic bans are not the solution to the country’s environmental concerns. In a statement to Citi Business News, Yiadom B. Kessie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enviroplast Company Limited, a plastic manufacturing company specializing in the production of polythene products, the businessman made a point conducive to the industry’s stance on the scapegoating of plastic materials in today’s plastic packaging landscape.
“The fact of the matter is we cannot leave life on auto pilot where everybody does what they like. If you ban plastics and replace it with another material and we litter around the same problem will happen again. What they have to do is ensure that they use the money they collect through the taxes we pay to create employment and also enforce city ordinances to ensure that we don’t litter and if they do will ensure that punitive punishment are taken against them.”
Kessie brings up a very good point, and addresses a top concern among plastic manufacturers in the industry that see the drastic measure of banning plastic, as a misinformed and temporary solution to the problem of pollution. Much like the debate concerning the banning of guns every time a school shooting occurs, parallels can be drawn to the plastic manufacturing world. Personal responsibility and public awareness concerning the ills of littering should trump the discussion of pollution, rather than the outright banning of plastic packaged goods that have been the cornerstone of the plastic manufacturing world for the better part of the 20th and 21st centuries.