Bag the Ban!

Georgia Legislature trying to Stop Local Governments from Regulating Plastic Bags

For Immediate Release: March 25, 2015
For More Information: Jennette Gayer, o-404-8923573, c-703-475-3228

Atlanta to Host National Symposium on Plastic Pollution
Event Coincides with Likely Vote to Block Local Control of Single Use Plastics

Georgia State University (GSU) and the David J. Sencer CDC Museum will play host to a national symposium to discuss the worldwide plastic pollution problem on March 26th and 27th.  The symposium coincides with a debate and possible vote on SB 139, legislation that would block local governments from regulating “auxiliary containers,” such as plastic bags or Styrofoam takeout containers.

 

“Nothing we use for 10 minutes should be around for hundreds of years,” said Jennette Gayer, Director of Environment Georgia. “Unfortunately the plastic bag industry seems bent on tying the hands of public schools, cities and counties when it comes to grappling with litter and plastic pollution problems.”

The two-day symposium at GSU and the CDC will bring together businesses, scientists, artists and more to discuss the most current research, creative response, activism mobilization and industry best practices in a quest to address runaway global plastic pollution.  In conjunction with the conference, several events are planned including a partnership with a major international art exhibition, Gyre: The Plastic Ocean at The David J. Sencer CDC Museum.

“This is a unique conference that brings together top scientists, artists, activists and industry leaders as partners in exposing the environmental and public health issues of plastic pollution and collaboratively working to offer solutions, ” explained Pam Longobardi, GSU Distinguished University Professor, Professor of Art and founder of the Drifters Project.

SB 139 is authored by Senator Tyler Harber (Ocila) and passed out of the Senate on Feb. 26th by a vote of 32-19. The timing of SB 139 also coincides with efforts on Tybee Island to ban single use plastic bags.

The Tybee proposal was a grassroots effort to curb beach litter that is hurting local tourism.  “Home rule is a long-established policy in Georgia whereby local governments can decide how to best govern themselves.  The Georgia Legislature should respect Tybee’s right to control litter in their community,” said Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Executive Director of GreenLaw and former State Representative.

“It seems outrageous that huge corporations feel like they have to pass a sweeping statewide bill to address the concerns of a tiny community of 3,000 people,” said Gayer. 

Environment Georgia is a statewide non-profit that works to protect Georgia air, water and greenspaces. www.EnvironmentGeorgia.org

GreenLaw is an environmental nonprofit law firm dedicated to giving Georgia's environment its day in court.  www.greenlaw.org 

For the symposium schedule, registration and information please visit: http://artdesign.gsu.edu/plastic-gyre-artists-scientists-activists-respond/