Thursday, March 19, 2009

Update on Reusable Shopping Bag Campaign

Some of you will remember that last year, Susan Carpenter and her class of social activists mounted a campaign to educate the community about the negative effects of plastic grocery bags. They put a huge ball of plastic grocery bag trash together and presented it to the Mayor at a City Council Meeting, showing eloquence. poise, self-confidence, and passion for their cause as they made a speech in front of the councilors and general public.

At that time, the Mayor told our students that plans were being drafted to ban plastic grocery bags in Ann Arbor. Then, just the other day, I received information through the Chamber of Commerce about a survey and focus groups that have been set up to gather public feedback on this issue. I have included the information at the end of this blog entry. If you would like to participate in the survey or in a focus group discussion session, the links and contact information are listed below.

I can't help hypothesizing that our fledgling 2nd and 3rd grade activists helped this process along. Our students can be very proud of themselves: they made their voices heard, and helped the decision-makers in our community understand the sincerity and commitment of our young people. Kudos to all of them!

City of Ann Arbor Seeks Input on Shopping Bag Use
Survey & Two Business Focus Groups
Tuesday, March 31

Zingerman's Road House
2501 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor
8:30am - 9:30am
Thursday, April 2
Downtown Development Authority Office
150 S. Fifth Ave, Ste. 301, Ann Arbor
8:30am - 9:30am
City of Ann Arbor officials are considering policies that reduce the litter and waste from disposable shopping bags and encourage consumers to choose reusable shopping bags. The public is invited to provide input on a range of possible local shopping bag policies through online surveys and business focus group sessions. The comments received by early May will help shape future City Council actions.

· Surveys are posted at through April 30, 2009. Two variations of the survey are provided: one for general consumers; and a second designed for business owners, managers, and employees.

· Interested business representatives are encouraged to attend one of two business focus group discussions to be held on Tuesday, March 31, 8:30am - 9:30am at Zingerman's Road House or on Thursday, April 2, 8:30am - 9:30am at the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Office at 150 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 301. Pre-registration to these free sessions is appreciated. Light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to Katie at 734.794.6000 extension 43728 or to

· Requests for mailed copies of the survey and general comments on promoting reusable shopping bags are being handled by Katie at 734.794.6000 extension 43728 and through

1 comment:

  1. I have been wondering about this and when it was going to change. I think your students are one of the reasons it's coming to the attention of Ann Arbor finally. It's something that comes to my mind every time we got to Target (who do not even have paperbags.