Yesterday morning, I showed up at San Francisco City Hall to testify in favor of broadening the City’s plastic bag ban and discovered that no matter how many times I speak in public, I still get nervous every single time! But sitting in the audience with Eli Saddler from Ocean Health, and looking around at all my other friends from the environmental community (Save the Bay, SF Surfrider, and others) I knew that the butterflies in my tummy didn’t matter. I was prepared with incriminating photographs (see below) and supported by a lot of other committed activists.
Here’s the scoop: Back in 2007, San Francisco passed legislation banning plastic bags from large grocery stores and pharmacy chains. They had initially wanted to charge a fee for them but were stymied by the plastic bag lobby on the state level and had to resort to an outright ban. According to the Department of Environment, that ban resulted in an 18% reduction in plastic… Read the rest
The Plastic Pollution Coalition scored a win two weeks ago when they were donated a cute PSA video by the top 11 finalists of last year’s American Idol that contained messaging against single-use disposable plastics. You can watch it here, along with Haley’s Wish (as long as it remains up):
Now, 19 Entertainment, the company that produces American Idol, is demanding that PPC remove the video from its Youtube channel and web site immediately. Why? Because the sponsors didn’t like it. The company wouldn’t say which sponsor complained, but I’m guessing it’s the one that provides the big red plastic cups that sit beside the judges each week. (Read: Coca Cola.)
Forbes ran a story yesterday asking whether the pressure to take down the video will backfire and bring more attention to the cause. Daniella Russo, the executive director of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, says she has no intention of removing the … Read the rest
Monday, I went down to Lake Merritt in Oakland to take pictures of plastic litter for my book. I’m happy to report that I didn’t see much overflowing trash, plastic or otherwise; but I did see some. And I snapped a few pix.
On my way back to the car, I knelt down to the ground to take a photo of this loose plastic baggie:
As I got up to leave, I heard a low voice that said, “Pick it up.”
Wow, I thought, my conscience is really getting loud these days. Normally, I would have picked up as much trash as I could, but that day I was in a hurry and didn’t have time. Plus, I rationalized that I was already raising awareness of the problem through my book and photos, so it would be okay to leave this trash this time. Still I hesitated.
The voice repeated, “Pick it up.”
Wait a minute. Did I really hear that? I turned around and saw a raggedy, derelict looking guy standing about twenty feet away watching me through dark glasses. He said,… Read the rest