Former Idaho High School Student Reacts To Plastic Bag Bill In Legislature

Feb 10, 2016

Last week, the Idaho House passed a bill that would prohibit cities from banning the use of plastic grocery bags. If it becomes law, the bill would prevent the formation of local movements — like one Lex Shapiro was a part of in Hailey five years ago — to make the bags illegal.

The 21-year-old college student grew up in the Wood River Valley, where she learned a deep appreciation for the outdoors. 

“Growing up in a beautiful place and always being engaged in outdoor activities," says Shapiro, "it was definitely a big part of my childhood.” 

In 2011, Shapiro was a member of the Wood River High School environmental club. The group tried to push the city of Hailey to ban plastic bags, which students saw as a big environmental problem. They gathered signatures and got the issue on the ballot. The measure ended up failing after a plastic bag manufacturing company in Jerome campaigned against it.

These days, Shapiro is a junior at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, and was upset to hear about the current plastic bag bill in the Idaho legislature. But she’s not letting it get to her.

“There’s not really a lot of room for us to be cynical if we’re trying to make change.” 

Shapiro hopes to graduate next year with a major in environmental studies.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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