Bag bans and taxes continue to pop up across the country, but defenders of plastic bags can point to a victory in Red Bank, N.J., where the borough council decided to drop a proposed ban on Monday. The Asbury Park Press reported on the move today, noting that the decision came after a "spirited debate." The story notes that the proposal has been in discussion for almost 10 months. It would have banned plastic bags starting July 1. Once again, an industry promise to step up bag recycling efforts was an important part of the arsenal. Donna Dempsey of the American Chemistry Council's Progressive Bag Affiliates spoke at the meeting, arguing that "A better approach is to sit down with people who know plastic bags, recycling, stores and solid waste." Meanwhile, as I noted, plastic bag legislation is continuing to spread. In Toronto, where city officials are discussing a new packaging proposal, a group of elementary school kids are going to speak to the city council's works committee today to push for a bag ban, according to this story from the Globe and Mail.
"When we're adults, we want a clean world, we don't want it polluted all over with plastic bags and whatnot," said David Cash, 11. Their teacher, former human-rights lawyer Harriet Simand, says the exercise has taught the children about organizing to fight for a cause. "They have a very clear sense of right and wrong," Ms. Simand said. "Sometimes adults need to hear it."It seems fitting to see 11-year-olds take up the issue. Watching the plastics industry battle against bag bans already seems like watching a kid play Whac-A-Mole. Whenever they knock one down, another pops up somewhere else.