In York, Maine, a group of high school students are trying to ban plastic bags. Ambitious? Perhaps. But that’s not stopping them from trying to make their hometown the first in the state to successfully enact a ban. Continue reading
In a follow up to the blog we wrote about 13-year-old Abby Goldberg, an Illinois plastic shopping bag recycling program was rejected last week. Lawmakers there declined to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of the plan. Earlier this year, Abby successfully lobbied Quinn to veto the legislation that lawmakers had approved in the spring.
The proposal would have required manufacturers of plastic bags and films to recycle more material, but opponents decried the legislation because it wouldn’t let local communities come up with their own recycling programs or even ban the bags outright. The rejection is great news for Abby, who wanted plastic bags banned in her town (the ban has yet to be approved).
For every step forward in increasing reusable grocery bag use, though, there seems to be a step backward…
Have you heard of Activist Abby? If not, take note. Abby Goldberg is an amazing activist (and she’s just 13 years old). She learned about how plastic bags have caused damage to our environment. Instead of leaving school and never thinking about it again, she started a two-year-long school project (to be completed by 8th grade graduation) to make a video convincing her hometown to ban plastic shopping bags.
Seven months into her efforts to encourage reusable shopping bags in her town, she discovered that the oil and chemical industries were ahead of the game. They joined forces with lobbyists and politicians to draft a bill to make it illegal for towns across Illinois to create plastic bag bans. The bill was thinly veiled as a green environmental bill with requirements for low-volume plastic bag recycling and positioned it as a model bill for all states. It passed in a late-night session without fanfare or press, which made her realize all of her work could be for nothing.
This week, the Wood River High School Environmental Club lost their bid to ban disposable plastic grocery bags in Hailey, Idaho.
The club spent nine months working on the student-led ballot initiative, which also specified that paper bags had to be made of at least 40% post-consumer material and exempted plastic bags for packaging bulk items such as nuts and grains and for wrapping meat, fish, plants, baked goods and medicines.
Efficiency Maine’s Maine Energy Idols Music Video Competition is underway—and the top prize is $1,000 and a public service television spot! Grab your friends and produce a 60 second music video combining your musical talents and video producing skills with your knowledge of energy efficiency. They’re looking for entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking spots that educate the public about energy efficiency. Potential topics include compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), alternative energy sources, hybrid vehicles, bio-fuels, energy evaluations, Kill-a-Watt energy meters, etc. We personally think this is the best idea we’ve heard in a long time AND a great way to get the word out about how detrimental plastic bags and paper bags are to the environment.
Think you have what it takes? Hurry…the contest ends May 26, 2010. For all the details, and how to enter, visit Efficiency Maine’s website.
Lincoln Academy’s Climate Action Club , located in Damariscotta, Maine, have been trying to raise awareness about reusable bags in their community for several years. Headed by Chloe Maxim, the CAC created a video about the problems with plastic bags . Subsequently, Chloe and the CAC gained recognition by the Sundance Channel, MTV, and others. The project began with a video, and then a pledge page (to pledge the use of reusable bags). From there, it blossomed into a full-blown campaign. Their goal? Reduce the use of plastic bags in Damariscotta by distributing town-wide custom-imprinted reusable bags.
The CAC, together with local businesses, organizations, and individuals, sponsor the bags in exchange for their logo imprinted on each reusable bag. The CAC led a very successful merchant’s meeting last March to discuss their campaign with local merchants Former Maine Representative Ted Koffman and reusable bag expert Suzette Bergeron of Bulletin Bag.
Bulletin Bags offered for free tomorrow. Limited edition Bulletin Bags will be available for free on June 14th at two Shaw’s locations in Southern Maine. The bags will feature the winning design from the first ever Nurture Nature Design Contest.
Bags will be available at Shaw’s in Biddeford from 10 am to 12 pm and at Shaw’s in Scarborough from 1pm to 3pm. Children involved in the contest will distribute the free bags!