In the July edition of Plastics News I read that 12-year-old girl Abby Goldberg from Grayslake, Ill., stool the plastics industry’s thunder — and quite possibly spoiled prospects for an industry-supported bag recycling bill in Illinois.
Her change.org website, which has more than 155,000 signatures to date, is called “Governor Quinn: Don’t Let Big Plastic Bully Me!”
“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,” she writes.
“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!”
Last week Goldberg went to Chicago to urge Gov. Pat Quinn to veto the recycling bill that would prohibit any city in the state, with the exception of Chicago, from implementing a plastic bag ban.
The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune both have reports about the meeting.
The Sun-Times reported: “After receiving the petitions, Quinn wouldn’t reveal whether he would sign the bill. “You’ll have to wait and see”, he said. He pledged to “do things right for the environment”.
We all know that everywhere in the world “bag-ban-bills” are in progress or already implemented. Also in Brazil.
In Brazil the large supermarket chains were very quick to kick the free distribution of plastic bags out of the shop. Not because they care about the environment, but it saves them money.
However a judge in the federal state of São Paulo decided last month that supermarkets should return to distributing free plastic bags to consumers.
The court decision on Monday, 25 June, determined that the necessary steps have to be taken to return to an adequate and sufficient supply of plastics bags in 48 hours. Of course the supermarkets appeal.
Judge Cynthia Torres Cristófaro, of the 1st Court in the capital, decided that it is “prohibited to charge money for bags used for packing the consumer’s purchases” and that companies have 30 days to provide, also free of charge and in sufficient quantity, packaging made of biodegradable material or appropriate paper, also free of charge.
In her decision, Cristófaro said the interruption of free distribution of sacolinhas (plastic bags) “clearly disproportionately burdens the consumer”.
She reasoned that “it is a well-known customary practice that the shopkeeper provides for packaging so that consumers can take the goods they bought with them”.
She, furthermore stated, that the termination of supplying carrier bags by supermarkets to consumers “caused great frustration”.
This court decision might feel as turning the world upside-down, but note that the judge expressly ordered the supermarket chains to supply biodegradable or appropriate paper bags within 30 days and free of charge. Maybe the best solution there is.