How to Start A Bag Ban: What You Need to Know About Starting a Bag Ban in Your City
First Thing to Know…You Can Do This!
Plastic bag bans take a lot of work and planning to become a reality. It can seem like a daunting task at times, but with careful planning, research, and dedication you can start a movement and get a single-use plastic bag ban on the books in your hometown. Many towns all over the world have succeeded in implementing a single-use bag ban and if they can do it, you can too!
Learn From Successful (and Some Not So Successful) Bag Bans
The path to successfully implementing a bag ban is different for each location, but the great thing about these varied examples is that you can read up and learn from other cities and municipalities and pick up some tips and ideas that will work for you and your plan to ban disposable bags. Possibly more important than learning what will help you ban bags is learning what will not help and what roadblocks others encountered on their journey to ban bags. Once you see the common themes in the success stories and the hurdles that sidelined the failed attempts you can tailor your plan to mimic the strengths and either avoid or plan for attacks.
Social media is a fantastic tool to reach the masses, spread your ideas and educate the public about your plan and next steps. Create a Facebook fan page and snap photos of plastic bag litter in your community to upload and link to articles explaining the negative impact plastic bag trash can have on the environment. This will help rally support, drive home the issue, and allow people to more easily understand why a bag ban is a good solution. Make sure to think before your tweet or post to Facebook. You want to be clear and concise and keep a positive and upbeat attitude.
There will be times you may be frustrated, but don’t take out your anger in a public way – that may cost you creditability and will give your opponents something to use against your cause. Also, make sure to reach out to and include folks who are not tech-savvy. Work with your local newspaper and send press releases to local media to let them know what is happening and what is in the works, so the entire community can be in the loop.
Try to Achieve the Best Fit for Your Town
Research local and state laws and make sure you work within this framework. For instance, if a bag ban can only be placed at a county level don’t waste your time trying to implement a ban at the city level. If there is any necessary reporting that needs to be conducted, make sure all necessary steps are taken to make that happen. Consider taking an incremental approach and maybe try to work at implementing a disposable bag fee and propose to later escalate this to a ban. While you’re trying to conceive the best fit for your hometown make sure to work with your local officials and get their buy-in since they have experience proposing and implementing laws.
Your Town and Our Environment Will Reap The Rewards!
The reward is worth the effort so don’t get discouraged as you work to implement a single-use plastic bag ban. You want to stay focused and positive and keep moving forward. There are a lot of tools and resources at your disposal, so do your homework and involve the community. When you make your bag ban a reality share your story to inspire and educate others and make sure to let us know so we can add your location to our plastic bag ban map.