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Idaho Students Try to Ban the Bag

November 11, 2011
Plastic Bags Blow!

Image by katerha via Flickr

A good story from Hailey, Idaho: a group of high school students, after successfully working to end the use of styrofoam plates in their cafeteria, took on the next target: the town’s use of plastic bags.  They were hoping to pass a ballot initiative in this small ski town, helping to reduce waste and clutter.

They weren’t expecting such strong opposition from Hilex Poly, a bag-manufacturing company in the area.  From this LA Times story:

The students launched an initiative drive, gathered signatures and managed to put a proposal to ban plastic bags on Tuesday’s election ballot.

What they never bargained for, though, was that the plastic bag industry would not roll over as easily as the school cafeteria.

This group of smart, driven students discovered that the bag-makers’ opposition was strong:

“They’ve sent out two, maybe three bulk mailings to every citizen in Hailey. They’ve run an ad on Facebook. We’re talking about multiple ads in the paper, on radio, on TV — they’re really pouring a ton of money into this,” [high school junior, Chase] England said. “We’re writing letters to the editor, but we really just don’t have the resources to hire lobbyists.”

It’s great to see students leading the way — and too bad that it didn’t work out.  What are you doing in your community to reduce use of bags?

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