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Hello all. I am a new blogger here on OneCity. My name is Kirsten (aka rewriteable). I am going to be regularly writing about topics and updates related to IDP’s Integral Activism project.
As Stillman Brown recently posted, the Integral Activism/Back to the Sack Initiative managed to send over 400 signatures to Gov. Paterson asking him to exempt NYC from the new, weaker State legislation that would override our more progressive city law that went into effect July 23rd, 2008.
There is a lot of support in NYC for this change to the State bill
On Aug. 6th, Speaker Christine Quinn and other members of the New York City Council sent out an Important Environmental Alert stating:
Despite all the hard work that went into making this law a reality, last month the State Legislature quietly passed a statewide plastic bag recycling bill that, if signed by Governor Paterson, would eliminate the City’s program and replace it with a far weaker one dictated by Albany. For example, the State’s bill would significantly reduce the number of stores in New York City required to recycle plastic bags. The State’s bill also only applies to carryout bags (and not film plastic) and would do away with the City’s ability to enforce any bag recycling law or ensure that businesses are in compliance.
Because you have been such an important ally in our efforts to help make New York a greener, more livable city, I am hoping you will join us in calling on Albany to take the necessary steps to ensure that the City’s plastic bag recycling law remains in full effect. Please contact the state representatives below and urge them to modify the State’s bill to allow the City’s more robust plastic bag recycling program to continue…
…Meanwhile, if you haven’t begun to already, we encourage you to recycle your plastic bags and to let your friends and neighbors know about the program as well! If a store you believe should be participating in the program refuses to accept your plastic bags, please call 311 to report the problem.
Outside of NYC, there are interesting political struggles going on surrounding taxing plastic bags in California and Washington State. The Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council (formerly known as the Progressive Bag Alliance and as a front for plastic bag manufacturers) was excited to see that California’s 25-cent tax on plastic bags did not make it past the Senate Appropriations committee. And in Seattle, the Washington Food Industry (a grocery-industry group) is already trying to get rid of the recently passed 20-cent fee on disposable plastic OR paper bags.
On a more positive note, if you are looking to get creative with any plastic bags you have stored up (waiting to recycling them), here is an Etsy lab tutorial on fusing plastic bags together to make new and creative things out of them. It cuts out the recycling middle man.
To close I thought I would add in a celebrity reminder that the best choice is to bring a reusable bag with you to the store: