Posted by Ted Duboise on Plastic Bag Ban Report.com
Illinois, July 10, 2012 (ENS) – People are still signing Abby
Goldberg’s 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.
When the 12-year-old Grayslake, Illinois student presented Governor
Pat Quinn with her petition on July 3 it had 150,000 signatures. Today, a
week later, there are 157,530 signatures on the petition at change.org.
People are signing up at the rate of more than 1,000 per day.
“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 of Grayslake, IL,” writes Goldberg in the introduction to her
“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!” she writes.
“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!’” writes Goldberg.
The bill, the Plastic Bag & Film Recycling Act,
SB 3442, requires the recycling of plastic bags. It passed the Illinois
House and Senate June 1. Governor Quinn has 60 days from that date to
either veto the bill or sign it into law.
The bill is backed by the American Progressive Bag Alliance, which
represents the plastic bag manufacturing and recycling industry.
The Alliance argues that recycling used plastic bags provides
business opportunities for for Illinois consumers and the environment
without added costs.
“Businesses will benefit from being able to sell used plastic bags,
sacks and wraps to recyclers so that they can be turned into new
products – like backyard decking, plumbing pipes, playground equipment,
and even new plastic bags,” the Alliance wrote in a May 1 open letter to
the lawmakers in Springfield.
“S.B. 3442 provides an easier means for more consumers to recycle
their used plastic bags, sacks and wraps by requiring bag manufacturers
to supply more recycling bin locations and setting minimum recycling
rate requirements,” the Alliance wrote. “By setting a statewide standard
for recycling, Illinois will avoid having a patchwork of local laws
that burden consumers and businesses.”
Plastic bags are 100 percent recyclable and are re-used by nine out
of ten Americans, the Alliance argues. “They are made primarily from
clean natural gas, and plastic bag manufacturing and recycling supports
more than 30,000 manufacturing jobs across the nation – with 3,000
workers in Illinois alone.” “…we hope this legislation becomes a model
bill for legislatures across the nation,” the Alliance wrote.
But the 12-year-old has set her sights on the defeat of S.B. 3442.
Her petition is called “Gov. Quinn: Don’t Let Big Plastic Bully Me!”
Goldberg wrote that she is “especially angry” that the American
Progressive Bag Alliance has said that SB 3442 could be “a model bill”
for all states.
“That means that they could push their corporate interests all over
America, preventing kids like me and towns like mine from taking action
to stop pollution,” Goldberg wrote.
“Well, the corporations may be afraid of me, but I’m not afraid of
them. I know that if thousands of people sign my petition, Governor
Quinn will see that the public doesn’t want these big corporations
telling our towns what we can and cannot do,” wrote Goldberg. “And when
we win, that veto will be a signal to Big Plastic that they had better
not expect to take their bill to other states without a fight.”
Goldberg has some powerful backers on her side too.
With her at
Governor Quinn’s office to deliver the petition were Champaign, Illinois
Mayor Don Gerard, whose City Council supported charging a fee for bags;
Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno, the sponsor of a Chicago bag ban
ordinance; Chicago Recycling Coalition President Mike Nowak and
Environment Illinois’s Max Muller; along with Sierra Club Illinois
Director Jack Darin, and Jared Teutsch of the Alliance for the Great
Governor Quinn has not said whether he will veto S.B. 3442 or not.
Goldberg is hopeful. “I had no idea it was going to get that many
signatures,” she told the “Chicago Tribune” on Sunday. “It’s so
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2012. All rights reserved.
PHOTO: Abby Goldberg speaks to the media after delivering 150,000
signatures to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, July 3, 2012 (Photo courtesy