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Cool Solutions


Jan 28, 2021

When Teaneck NJ Girl Scouts saw pictures of birds tangled in plastic bags, they got to work and sparked a movement that led to the strongest state plastic ban in the US.

This is an engaging story about how big change happens when local efforts add up; with side trips into the chemistry of plastics, the importance of plankton poop, and comics as a metaphor for life.

Storytellers:
Judith Enck Beyond Plastics
John Weber Surfrider Foundation
Steve Jasiecki Sustainable Downbeach
Monica Coffee Sustainable Downbeach
Eliza Stilletto NJ Girl Scout Troop 19

 

:11 How big a deal is plastic for climate?

 

1:46 Science nerd minute: the chemistry of making plastic from fossil fuel

 

2:26 Ocean plastic’s impacts, from plankton to people

 

5:15 The dramatic rise in plastic production and greenhouse gas emissions

 

5:44 Why giving up your straw won’t solve the problem.

 

7:55 Monica and Steve in Downbeach, NJ decide to work on a bag ban

 

10:35 Political pushback and a detour by balloon

 

12:32 Victory in Downbeach

 

13:11 Teaneck Girl Scout Troop 19 gets passionate about plastics

 

15:26 Girl Scouts go to Teaneck City Council and get a pat on the head.

 

 

 

18:48 Victory in Teaneck

 

19:11 Municipal bans spread to other towns and the campaign for a statewide ban begins.

 

21:00 The girls’ Plastic Bag Monster meets a real plastic lobbyist, and they do some lobbying of their own.

 

25:52 Monica and Eliza share the big lessons

 

Links:

Beyond Plastic 

South Jersey Surfrider, Rise Above Plastics

Banning Plastic Bags Town by Town, a guide