Rally To Stop New York City Plastic Bag Pollution!
NYC City Hall Park (Broadway, Park Row and Chambers St)
This Monday, March 23rd, 12pm
Join 70 organizations and 100s of concerned citizens at City Hall Park to tell Mayor Bill de Blaso and The New York City Council to impose a fee on carryout bags by this Earth Day, April 22
Organized by Stiv J. Wilson, The Story of Stuff’s Campaign Director. His rallies across the country have lead to real victories in Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA.
The U.S. lags behind 12 countries to address this ecological disaster. Only 7% of single-use plastic bags are disposed of properly. Most are not biodegrade. Instead, they photodegrade with sunlight, breaking into smaller and smaller pieces becoming part of the food chain.
A Short History of the Plastic Bag
|1933||Polyethylene is discovered by scientists at Imperial Chemical Industries, a British company.|
|1950||Global plastic production is less than 2 million metric tons.|
|1965||Sten Thulin’s 1962 invention of the T-shirt bag, (the common single-use plastic shopping bag) is patented by Swedish company Celloplast.|
|1976||Mobil Oil introduces the plastic bag to the U.S. The bags are red, white, and blue for the U.S. Bicentennial.|
|1982||Safeway and Kroger, two of the biggest U.S. grocery chains, switch from paper to plastic bags.|
|1986||Plastic bags account for 80% of the market in Europe, with paper as the remaining 20%. In the United States, paper is 80% and plastic is 20%.|
|June 1986||The General Federation of Women’s Clubs starts a letter writing campaign to grocers stating the negative environmental effects of plastic bags.|
|Late 1980s||Plastic bag usage catches up to paper in U.S.|
|1989||Maine passes a law to only hand out plastic bags if requested, replaced in 1991 by statewide recycling.|
|1990||The island of Nantucket, MA bans retail plastic bags.|
|1994||Denmark begins taxing retailers for plastic bags.|
|1996||4 of every 5 grocery bags used in the US are plastic.|
|1997||Captain Charles Moore finds the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where plastic outweighs zooplankton 6 to 1, drawing global attention to plastics in our oceans.|
|2000||Mumbai, India bans plastic bags.|
|2002||Global plastics’ produces 200 million metric tons.|
|March 2002||Ireland becomes the first country to tax consumers’ use of plastic bags directly.|
|March 2002||Bangladesh becomes the first country to ban plastic bags. Bags were blamed for exacerbating flooding.|
|2006||Industry complaints and legal issues make Italy’s efforts to ban plastic bags ongoing.|
|April 2007||San Francisco is the first U.S. city to ban plastic grocery bags, expanding to retailers and restaurants.|
|2007-2008||The American Chemistry Council spends $5.7 million lobbying in Ca. to oppose regulations on plastic bags.|
|June 2008||China bans plastic bags before the Beijing Olympics.|
|September 2008||Rwanda passes a national ban on plastic bags.|
|2009||Discarded plastics overtake paper as the number one discarded material in the U.S. waste stream.|
|July 2009||Hong Kong’s levy on plastic grocery bags takes effect and is later expanded to all retailers.|
|August 2009||The American Chemistry Council finances Seattle’s defeat to impose a 20ȼ fee on paper and plastic bags|
|December 2009||Madison, Wisconsin mandates that households recycle plastic bags rather than disposing of them.|
|January 2010||Washington, D.C., requires food and alcohol stores to charge 5ȼ for plastic and paper checkout bags.|
|2010||Bag producer, Hilex Poly, spends over $1 million to oppose a statewide plastic bag ban in California.|
|2010||Plastic bags appear in the Guinness World Records as the world’s “most ubiquitous consumer item.”|
|October 2011||Portland, Oregon bans plastic bags at major grocery stores and certain big-box stores.|
|May 2012||Honolulu County approves a ban completing the state-wide ban in Hawaii.|
|July 2012||Seattle’s plastic bag ban takes effect nearly three years after the first tax attempt failed.|
|March 2013||A bag ban takes effect in Austin, TX.|
|September-October 2013||Ocean Conservancy Coastal Cleanup picked up more than 1 million plastic bags from the world’s waterways.|
|January 2014||Los Angeles is the largest U.S. city to ban plastic bags.|
|April 2014||The European Parliament backs new rules to cut plastic bag use 50% by 2017 and 80% percent by 2019.|
|April 2014||132 city and county plastic bag bans or fee ordinances cover over 20 million people in the United States.|
|Source: Compiled by Earth Policy Institute, www.earth-policy.org,|
How You Can Help:
- Make signs for the rally with plastic-free phrases.
- Dress up in plastic bags.
- Take photos of rally goers flexing their Citizen Muscles to share on your social media channels.
- Refuse one time use plastic bags. They are not free.
- click on and follow http://bagitnyc.org
- follow http://plasticbagbanreport.com for the latest information. Click on about for one person’s affect.
- Jane Goodall’s Roots Environmental Group photo/art below!
Until next week,