Let’s make sure plastic bags are not the future for Illinois
Updated: July 23, 2012 11:35AM
Abby Goldberg is my new hero.
Abby is the 12-year-old girl from Grayslake who spearheaded a petition drive to stop a bill that would keep local communities from banning plastic bags.
You know plastic bags. You get them at the grocery story or convenience store or wherever you shop to hold your groceries.
And you know what happens to them. You see them being blown by the wind down the highway or stuck in the branches of a tree or floating on the water of a nearby lake.
Abby sees those things, too. So, as part of a school project, she started a drive to have her town ban the plastic bag.
But then she ran into the state bill. Approved by the General Assembly, the bill requires plastic bag manufacturers to provide for recycling of their material. That’s a good thing.
But the bill also prevents local communities, like Grayslake where Abby lives, from banning plastic bags outright.
So Abby switched tactics and gathered more than 150,000 names on petitions asking Gov. Quinn to veto the bill.
That a girl, Abby!
I, for one, hate the ubiquitous plastic bags. I have always hated them since the day I walked out of a Star Market in Boston with a bunch of those bags as a way to tote home my groceries.
Just when we got rid of the aluminum can poptops, we came up with the plastic bags.
But unlike Abby, I’ve never really done anything about them.
Oh, I’ve grumbled about it to friends and relatives when in soap box mode.
I’ve asked for paper instead of plastic when in line at the grocery store.
But that’s about it. In other words, I’ve just been going along with the flow, carrying my groceries home and occasionally seeing them fall onto the driveway when I’m picking up a ripped bag.
Why fight city hall? Why fight the corporate entities?
For me, and millions in my generation, my acts of protest amount to sticking my head out the window and screaming: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
But not Abby.
Abby did something about it.
She’s taking on city hall. Taking on the corporate interests.
And for Abby’s sake, I’m going to get some of those canvas tote bags and start packing my groceries in them rather than in the plastic bags the store hands out.
And I’m urging every town to take up the cause and ban plastic bags before the state forces us to keep using them.
That’s why Abby is my new hero.
I hope she’s Gov. Quinn’s, too.