California Business Coalition Says Senate Bill 568 Will Kill 8,000 Jobs in the Golden State

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Workers, Manufacturers, Business Groups and More than 550 Restaurants Protest Proposed Food Container Ban

SB 568 is a Job Killer for a very good reason – local bans have already shut down factories . . . There is no question that it will promote additional plant closures.

As many as 8,000 manufacturing and related jobs would likely vanish if special interest groups succeed in banning polystyrene (commonly referred to as Styrofoam™) food containers that are the lifeblood for several factories and small family and ethnic restaurants throughout California, according to a spokesman for a growing coalition of businesses and workers opposing the legislative proposal.

While Senate Bill 568 (Lowenthal) won’t do anything to eliminate litter, it will eliminate manufacturing and recycling jobs, said Stevan Allen, a spokesman for the coalition. It also will raise costs to tens of thousands of small family and ethnic restaurants throughout the state, he said.

“The proposal unfairly targets minority owned businesses that cannot compete with the large chain restaurants,” said James Duran, who chairs the legislative committee for the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, one of the dozens of organizations opposing the measure. “They are already struggling and many cannot afford to pay double and triple the costs for containers. They operate on razor thin margins and their customers don’t have the means to absorb cost increases.”

As word spreads about the bill, a growing number of these restaurants are voicing their opposition. From those serving Chinese and Korean cuisine to Mexican and BBQ Soul Food, more than 550 restaurants have joined the coalition in the past several weeks, officials say. Dozens of other business organizations are also opposing.

"SB 568 is a Job Killer for a very good reason – local bans have already shut down factories,” said Earl “Skip” Cooper President/CEO Black Business Association. “There is no question that it will promote additional plant closures and expedite the continued downward spiral of the state’s economy.”

Opponents of the proposed ban cited a study from Keybridge Research that found a ban would result in:    

  •     8,000 lost jobs related to the manufacturing, distribution and employment positions in the packaging supply chain
  •     More than $1.4 billion in lost output
  •     $6 million in lost tax revenues
  •     $335 million in lost wages for workers
  •     Up to $20 million in increased costs to California school districts resulting from the need to purchase more expensive alternative cafeteria food trays
  •     Higher unemployment, especially in such depressed areas of the Central Valley and Los Angeles where unemployment is nearly 20 percent. Along with lost jobs, workers would lose health and retirement benefits.

“These types of manufacturing jobs are a key to a stable and growing economy in California,” said Mike Rogge of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. “Many of these foam plant workers have been on the job for 15-20 years and without a doubt, these jobs will disappear.”

He said that targeting one type of waste is unfair, and will kill promising recycling programs in California.

“In addition to the obvious economic damage, this bill could worsen environmental impacts by raising greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption as consumers switch to alternative packaging."

MEDIA CONTACT: Stevan Allen @ (916) 448-1336

Coalition Opposing SB 568 – The following groups are opposed to the proposed ban on polystyrene food containers: More than 450 independent family restaurants, California Chamber of Commerce, California Manufacturers & Technology Association, Black Business Association, California Restaurant Association, American Chemistry Council, Dart Container Corporation, Industrial Environmental Association, The Dardanelle Group, Pactiv Corporation, Society of the Plastics Industry, California Black Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, Moreno Valley Black Chamber of Commerce, Inland Empire Black Chamber of Commerce, Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce, Long Beach Black Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, Carson Black Chamber of Commerce, Antelope Valley Black Chamber of Commerce, California Film Extruders & Converters Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Black Business and Professional Association, Regional Black Chamber, San Fernando Valley, Foodservice Packaging Institute, California Forestry Association, Regional Chambers Alliance of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, Stockton Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Valley Industry and Commerce Association, South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce, Southwest California Legislative Council, Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce, Murrieta Chamber of Commerce, Wildomar Chamber of Commerce, Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce, Greater Corona Valley Chamber of Commerce, Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce, Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce, El Monte/South El Monte Chamber of Commerce, Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce, Lemoore Chamber of Commerce, Seawright Custom Precast, Inc., Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, Fullerton Chamber of Commerce, El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, Brawley Chamber of Commerce, Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber (GLAAAC), California Travel Association

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