On August 23, 2010, I published a blog on the Bag It website about cosmeticsdatabase.com, a resource developed by the EWG dedicated to exposing the potential dangers of toxic ingredients in beauty products.
Since then, the Bag It blog has covered topics such as bottled water, carcinogenic McDonald’s toys, the triumph of bag-banning in our hometown of Telluride, Colorado, TED talks on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and our most recent entry on a fabulous non-profit out of Moab, Utah, that builds straw-bale homes.
And now, here we are. The final Bag It blog post. It might be nice to take a look at how far we’ve come, and where we’re headed.
2012 was an incredible year for Bag It outreach and engagement. To date we have shared the educational version of the film with over 1000 schools and community groups. We reach out to each of them with additional curriculum materials for students and resources for community members who want to start down the path to legislative change for plastic bags via our Bag It Town Program.
The many health and environmental issues surrounding plastic have only picked up steam in the public eye this past year. We hear from viewers daily via email and the film’s growing fanbase on Facebook that the film continues to educate and have a strong impact.
This fall Bag It successfully launched the Bag It Plastic Free School Contest, a friendly competition among schools to reduce single-use disposable plastic use in their community, thanks to a grant from the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation. Contest winners will be announced in April of 2013.
Bag It was honored to be selected as a top five finalist for the PUMA Creative Impact Award for most impacting documentary. While we did not win, the competition was incredible and the event proved the incredible impact that documentary films have in the world.
Update from Emily Utter, Bag It Town Policy Director -
More than 80 jurisdictions in the United States now have legislation limiting the free distribution of single use bags. In California, more than 56 cities now ban plastic bags and charge a fee for paper bags. Some other cities, such as Portland, OR, have passed similar legislation to the CA trend. Washington, DC placed a 5 cent tax on all paper and plastic bags. Some cities have banned plastic bags entirely but have not placed taxes or fees on paper bags. Hawaii was the first state to ban plastic bags, though it was a county by county, or island by island, effort. Oahu was the last county in Hawaii to ban plastic bags. More areas adopting plastic bag legislation:
11 Countries in Africa
14 Countries in Asia
8 Jurisdictions in Australia
22 Jurisdictions in Europe
9 jurisdictions in Canada
1 in Mexico (Mexico City)
5 Jurisdictions in S. America
Worldwide, nearly 80 cities and countries across the globe have banned or placed a charge on plastic bags. Notably, China banned plastic bags in 2008.
Expect big things from the Bag It Town Program in 2013, as we were just awarded a grant from the Patagonia company to keep this important work going.
Also – if anyone wants to see how big William got and the little activist he has grown into:
Here is a quick video message from Jeb and William.
So, dear viewers, thank you all for your support over the years. Working together, we hope to enact more change in the future!