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Nerd Nite Philly Sustainability Recap & Plastic Bag Updates

Nerd Nite Philly Sustainability Recap & Plastic Bag Updates

plastic bag litter in philadelphiaFirst and foremost, thanks to everyone who came out to Frankford Hall last evening for Nerd Nite Philly!

Although we thought we’d have more time to share the details of what’s going on, we’re happy to bring you up to date.

Next month in October, legislation for a small (5 cent) single-use bag fee (ie, plastic or paper) will be introduced in City Council. Sponsored by Council member Mark Squilla, we also have 4 co-sponsors of the bill and are hoping for more. Any money collected from the bill will go to help fund schools, which are significantly underfunded.

Legislation: Giving you a choice.

If you’re wondering why we’re charging for ‘free’ bags, we have to make one thing clear: Plastic Bags aren’t free. Retailers embed the cost into your grocery bill, which means you pay for them already. This legislation will break out the cost so that consumers can make their own, more educated decision.

The industry has already begun to lobby against this bill. So we NEED your help. Visit our DitchTheBag website, Sign our petition and Tweet #DitchTheBag or Email/Call your City Council Member!

History of Plastic Bag Legislation in Philadelphia:

  • 2007: Introduced, killed.
  • 2009: Introduced by Councilmen Frank DiCiccio & Jim Kenney. Legislation  did not receive another votes and rejected due to lobbying by American Chemistry Council, Plastic Bag industry and retailers.
  • August 2012: Logan Welde of the Clean Air Council and I developed a campaign to reduce the amount of plastic bags in Philadelphia.
  • September 2012: spoke to Councilman Squilla at Greenfest about sponsoring the legislation for a single-use bag fee in Philadelphia.
  • November 2012: Held a meeting with Councilman Squilla to discuss what the legislation would look like and a potential time-table for introduction of the bill along with Frank DiCicco (ex District 1 Councilman)
  • January 2013: the Clean Air Council sent our proposed legislation to Councilman Squilla.
  • May 1, 2013:  Met with Councilman Squilla, Penn Environment and the opponents of the bill (representatives from Hilex and Wawa). Those groups outlined their issues with the proposed legislation in that meeting.
  • Spring/Summer 2013: Formed a coalition with Penn Future, Penn Environment, Sierra Club, Clean Water Action
  • June 7 2013: Logan Welde had Radio Times interview (1 hour) to debate Phil Rozenski from Hilex (the largest plastic bag manufacturer in the United States).
  • October 2013Councilman Squilla is planning on introducing the bill in October of 2013.  

Nerd Nite Action – Takeaways

Thanks to the amazing Twitterverse (Especially Marissa Rosen) for all the Tweets uploaded! Here are some of our favs:





Photo Highlights from Nerd Nite:


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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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