retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

• The Los Angeles Times writes that California lawmakers did not act on two controversial measures that “would have made their state the first to partially phase out single-use containers … Two bills, Senate Bill 54 and companion legislation Assembly Bill 1080, sought to eliminate 75% of single-use containers by 2030, reducing the glut of unmarketable plastics statewide and laying the groundwork for a revamped California recycling industry.”

According to the story, “The bills came in response to China’s decision to become more selective about the scrap it accepts from the U.S., which has created a huge glut of collected plastics and mixed paper, depressing the market for many items. With little revenue coming in, many local and state governments simply shut down their recycling programs, opting to dump previously recyclable items in landfills. The bills zeroed in on plastics, an industry that has sidestepped recycling standards that other producers, such as glass and cardboard, must meet.”

But, opposition came from “the Grocery Manufacturers Assn., waste management industries such as Athens Services and the California Refuse Recycling Council, and members of the agriculture and glass manufacturing industries. Some were concerned by the authority granted to CalRecycle, the entity charged with overseeing compliance, and a lack of specifics about how the bill would be administered.”

In the end, the Times writes, “the bill’s authors were able to negotiate changes that garnered the support of the California Grocers Assn. and Dow Chemical, and shifted the stance of large players such as the American Chemistry Council, Proctor & Gamble and Walmart, which dropped their opposition.” Which added to the frustration when supporters of the bills “couldn’t secure the votes as the legislative session came to an end.”
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