magazine's Web site has a feature story
today on Stephen L. Joseph, head of the Save the Plastic Bag
campaign. The story's headline calls Joseph "The Patron Saint of Plastic Bags."
In the pantheon of lost causes, defending the plastic grocery bag would seem to be right up there with supporting smoking on planes or the murder of puppies. The thin white ubiquitous bag has moved squarely beyond eyesore and into the realm of public nuisance, a symbol of waste and excess and the incremental destruction of nature. But where there's an industry at risk, there's an attorney, and the plastic bag's advocate-in-chief is Stephen L. Joseph, head of the quixotically titled Save the Plastic Bag campaign.
The former Washington lobbyist, who was born in England and reluctantly gives his age as 50-something, admits it's an uphill battle trying to improve the image of a throwaway item that has been tied to everything from global warming to dependence on oil and the death of marine life. Especially in California. Particularly in ultra-liberal Marin County. It took him more than a year after the bag manufacturers came calling to take on the cause. "It's very challenging to counter the myths and misinformation," he says from his Tiburon, Calif., law offices. "I'm a one man show."
One-man show is an exaggeration, of course. It's interesting to see that Time
discovered Joseph -- perhaps his reputation as a publicist is well deserved. Anyway, there are others who have been crusading on behalf of plastic bags -- and at this point, it looks like they all can use some help.