After months of work by the American Bakers Association (ABA) State Affairs Working Group, the passage of the Tray Loss and Prevention Law in Texas has been signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.
“The baking industry’s concern is the epidemic of organized theft of plastic bakery containers,” said Kelly Knowles, ABA VP of state and political affairs. “Our members have seen the problem grow every year, resulting in excess of $25 million of lost equipment and countless operational disruptions over the past five years in Texas alone.”
“The theft of these trays is of substantial importance to the baking industry and other food industries,” said ABA State Affairs Working Group Chair Craig Pizer of Bimbo Bakeries USA. “The final signature on this legislation provides law enforcement with the seamless legal framework to deter and prosecute this pervasive and serious criminal activity—for both the health of the Texas economy and the health of the environment.”
“The law incentivizes law enforcement and disincentivizes criminals from carrying out tray thefts,” said Robb MacKie, ABA president and CEO. “The law discourages tray theft by applying criminal penalties and supporting civil recovery by prosecutors for registered returnable containers, including theft of and damage to such containers.”
The legislation builds upon the Texas Retailers Association’s Stop Theft of Plastics Products (STOPP) Initiative, an initiative that has had success, although not complete, in combating tray theft. In 2013, the ABA lead similar successful reform efforts in the Maryland Legislature.
The ABA is the Washington, D.C.-based wholesale baking industry association. Since 1897, ABA has represented the interests of bakers before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies and international regulatory authorities. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. The baking industry generates more than $153 billion in economic activity annually and employs more than 799,500 people.