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Fighting for Reusable Shopping Bags: If a Teen Can Do It…

fighting_for_reusable_shopping_bagsHave 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.

Once again, however, Abby’s resilience and determination shone brightly. Armed with seven months of research into the harmful effects of plastic bags, Abby’s project morphed into a campaign to petition Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to veto the bill.  She collected more than 174,000 signatures and delivered the petition. And then she waited. One day, Abby picked up a ringing telephone to hear Governor Quinn on the other end, calling Abby personally to tell her he was going to veto the bill.

Even with a victory under her belt, Abby is still not done! She still hopes to make that video, and is also considering other projects involving reducing plastic bag consumption.

We are proud to get the word out about this remarkable teen, and are so glad to have one more ally who educates the public about using reusable shopping bags over plastic bags.

FMI on Abby and her efforts, visit Or just google her. She is everywhere, from CNN to the Chicago Tribune!

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