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Plastic Bag Bans This Week: The Good, The Bad, and The Misleading

bagsatlandfillIn 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…

City councilors in Toronto have squashed a single-use plastic bag ban that would have gone into effect on January 1. The ban had divided the city politically, and in November, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association filed a lawsuit against the city of Toronto in an effort to block the ban. The Canadian Plastics Industry Association also—not surprisingly—opposed the ban.

But the most misguided comment we’ve seen on the subject in a LONG time came from plastics industry spokesperson, Joe Hruska, who said, “We’re very happy. Council made the right decision today on behalf of all Torontonians. We just believe that the plastic bag has never been a problem for the environment. So this is a good day for Toronto and for consumer choice.”

Hey Activist Abby, can you please go to Toronto and turn this ship around? Please?

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