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David and Goliath fights are happening daily

November 08 2011 | Plastics, Water Quality,

The stories just keep piling up and the stories are always the same.

A rather small, sometimes tiny group works their tails off to try and stem the flow of plastic trash into our oceans and a gigantic swarm of lawyers representing various forces behind "big plastic" tries their best to squash them like a bug.

Yesterday it was this one.

David: A group of Idaho students

Goliath: South Carolina single-use plastic bag maker Hilex Poly

Here's the story. This is a mainstream story, it's in USA Today. The summary of the story is a high school environmental club worked nine months to get a local ordinance passed to ban disposable bags. Then a plastics manufacturer, Hilex, swooped into town, buys full-page newspaper ads, judiciously plays the "j" word (blah blah blah jobs blah...) and does their best to kill a grassroots, local initiative designed to clean up the area.

Today it's this one.

David: American Idol singers and Plastic Pollution Coalition

Goliath: An "un-named" sponsor of American Idol

Here's that story. Forbes covered this one. Again, not exactly fringe media. This story is the same plot line with different players. A small non-profit worked nine months to create a Public Service Announcement video with the permission of popular tv show American Idol. They released the video and the lawyering starts. The contents of the video are pretty tame... "refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle."  Now the makers of the video, PPC, are under pressure from the un-named American Idol sponsor to take the PSA down. Here's the video in question.

These stories are happening all the time.

The David is us... all of us. HIgh school kids... non-profits making videos about plastic trash in the oceans.

The Goliath are bag makers, the American Chemistry Council and (it now seems like) major single-use plastic users.

What will tomorrow bring? It will bring another fight.

We've had 11 victories this year which resulted less single-use plastic trash in our oceans. We're ready for number 12.

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