PLASTIC BAG BANS:
There is a movement underway – yes, a groundswell of ordinary citizens like you and me who are demanding we stop our daily destruction to the planet and start changing the way we do things!
We are taking a stand to protect our oceans and the animals that make it their home.
In local communities and large cities across the country and world, we are creating an unprecedented and unified movement against plastic bags and for reusable bags. The movement is about so much more than bags though – these bag bans are about:
- Cleaning up our rivers and oceans
Protecting sea animals like birds, turtles, whales, fish, and more from death due to ingesting plastic bags (or other plastic pieces) or being strangled by plastic.
- The People vs. Corporate control and powers
Local living vs. unsustainable national and global trade
Being one with the environment vs. pushing that reality aside
- And taking steps towards real change–no matter how small they may seem at first.
The way things are going, the plastic bag could become almost obsolete within a decade – at least in supermarkets.
The science measuring the destruction of plastic in oceans and to animals, alongside the economic unfeasibility of recycling plastic bags, makes the case for bag bans one that is sweeping the world, one city at a time.
The first city to pass a bill banning plastic bags was San Francisco on March 27th, 2007.
Now 5.5 years later, many of the most prominent cities in the U.S. including L.A., the largest, and Washington D.C., our nation’s capital have banned or set fees for plastic bags.
“This has probably been one of the most interesting wildfires of common sense, and I'm delighted and proud that San Francisco was the first city in the United States to have kick-started this" said Ross Mirkarimi, the man who first submitted the bag ban bill that was passed in San Francisco.
The plastic and oil industry is feeling very threatened by our mass dawning of awareness and is becoming increasingly transparent in it’s corrupt desire and attempts to maintain control OVER it’s consumers. These industries are pouring over a million dollars in trying to sue cities taking measures to ban plastic bags.
A recent battle, won by a young activist – 12 years old, in Chicago Illinois is an incredible example of our uplifting progress! Abby Goldberg started a petition asking the governor of Illinois to veto a bill on his desk that would make it illegal for Illinois cities and towns to enact plastic bag bans. The legislation proposed by big plastic would have prevented local control over dealing with the issue of plastic bags and set a precedent for this across the nation. Abby collected 170,000 signatures on her petition on change.org and the governor did in fact veto the bill.
Before implementing bag bans and bag taxes, cities need to make sure to perform an environmental impact review (EIR) so that it is almost impossible for corporate plastic interests to sue and create lawsuits in their interest against pro-active citizen supported bag bans.
The more we continue to ban plastic bags, the more people will become aware of the destructive impact of plastic on the environment and take action in their lives to make a difference.
In the fall of 2012, city council members of our town of Boulder, CO voted to tax plastic and paper bags 10 cents each! The sidebar to the right is a list of the U.S. cities and other countries that have bag bans/taxes and below are other states considering it:
House Representatives in Arkansas have proposed legislation that would prohibit stores from providing single-use plastic bags to customers. ( AR HB 1043 – 2011)
State is doing Environmental studies before cities can implement bans
Indiana HB 1521 was introduced by Representative VanDenburgh and the first reading occurred on January 20, 2011. The preamble to the bill calls it a ‘fee’ on plastic bags.
A Colorado State Senate Committee passed a bill that would ban bags in large retail stores within three years. ( SB 156 – 2009)
BOSTON, Massachusetts, June 25, 2012 (ENS) – A committee of the Massachusetts Legislature has voted “yes” to a bill that would ban the distribution of single-use plastic bags state-wide.
Michigan House of Representatives is considering a proposal that would impose a $0.01 tax on plastic bags and would earmark these revenues for recycling, cleanup and environmental education. ( HB 4919 , 2011)
New Jersey state lawmakers are considering a statewide tax on both plastic and paper grocery bags. (2012)
Eugene: Eugene legislators are drafting an ordinance this summer that would ban plastic bags. (2012)
Pennsylvania is currently considering a tax on plastic bags. ( SB 590 – 2011)
Rhode Island legislators are currently debating bans and taxes on plastic grocery bags. (2012)
Washington State Legislators are considering a statewide ban on plastic bags. (2012)