Plastic Bag Industry Threatened By 12-Year-Old

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Plastic Industry Bullies Sabotage 12-Year-Old’s School Project

A twelve-year-old’s school project has scared the pants off the Illinois plastic industry.

The industry feels so threatened by Abby Goldberg’s efforts to ban single-use plastic bags in her hometown of Grayslake, IL, that they have lobbied for (and successfully passed) a bill banning bag bans in Illinois. No city, with the lone exception of Chicago, will be able to “regulate the collection, recycling, sale, or use of plastic carryout bags.”

Now Abby has set up a Change.org petition, already 100,000 signatures strong, calling for the governor to veto the bill. Here is Abby’s call to action:

My name is Abby Goldberg, and as a 12-year-old girl who, after seeing the devastation that millions of plastic bags have caused the environment and ocean life, I made my school project this year to be getting a local ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in my home town Grayslake, IL.

My friends and I were making great progress, until the oil and chemical industry pulled a dirty trick to kill my campaign; these lobbyists used the politicians that they bought to pass a bill that would make it illegal for towns across Illinois to create plastic bag bans!  Even worse, they’re trying to make it look like a green environmental bill, by putting in a few ridiculously-low requirements for so-called “recycling” of plastic bags, and are bragging they’re going to make it "a model bill for all states!”

Now it’s in the hands of our Governor to stop them with a veto, but he needs to hear from all of us!

[…]

The governor could sign at any minute, so we need your voice as soon as possible, or my dream of getting a healthier environment for my town, our environment and our world will be totally crushed.

Plastic bags have the same environmental impact as the fossil fuels from which they are made, often use toxic lead inks and colorants, and end up in storm drains, rivers, and eventually the ocean. Hundreds of thousands of marine animals die from eating or getting trapped in this plastic ever year. Plastic bag bans are the only way to definitively curtail these devastating consequences.

Abby’s appeal for a ban is not the first: the Austin City Council passed a bag ban ordinance last March that will ban single use bags at checkout counters in grocery stores starting March 2013. Similar bans also exist in San Francisco, Portland, counties in North Carolina, and even internationally in Mexico and India.

Show your solidarity with Abby and protect the environment by signing the petition.

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