Friday, January 21, 2011

Anatomy of a Bag Ban

Okay, a bag FEE – anything to get the job done! I’m talking again about the wildly-successful, single-use plastic bag fee put into place in our nation’s capital, Washington DC, just one year ago.

You’ve seen blog entries here detailing the progress and the resultant pollution-reduction numbers, but how did it all happen to begin with? How did the advocates of the ban/fee beat out the usual lobby-money torrent from the ACC, right there in DC – the home of the universe's “greatest” (term used verrrrry loosely) lobbyists? This one-page article details it all. Time to bust out the pencils and take some notes!

…and there is plenty to detail! The usual-suspect tools of Youtube, facebook, twitter, combine with a badly plastic-polluted river, a Methodist minister, greaseball plastics lobbyists, a former Google exec and even…Marion Barry to make it all happen! For as short as it is, the article is quite a read that takes you through the process that it calls “a lesson in old-fashioned politicking and new-fangled social networking”.

Surfrider DC had a major role in it all and to be sure, the process wasn’t a Sunday stroll in the park – it also involved “feet on the street” gathering signatures, speaking at city council meetings and flooding online article comment sections with the good word. Good things come to those who bust their butts fighting for justice, yes?

Something nice to start the weekend with – have a GOOD’UN!