Youth Lobby Day at the Capitol: Plastic Pollution
Thursday, March 5th, 2020
Environment Colorado, CoPIRG, and Eco-Cycle are hosting a Youth Lobby Day: Plastic Pollution event at the Capitol on Thursday, March 5th, 2020! Dozens of kids in elementary school to college are engaging with their state lawmakers on reducing plastic pollution.
A youth-driven campaign to ban single use plastics came as a result of last year’s Dream Tank: Future Cities Accelerator.
During our accelerator at the incredible maker space and learning environment of The Museum of Boulder, each kid was on a team mission for the course of the week that was focused around solving different SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals) for example, Gender Equality, Poverty, and Climate Change. The teams decided to take action locally, after learning from local organizations Boulder Community Foundation , EcoCycle and even a visit from the Mayor of Boulder, Suzanne Jones.
2 out of 4 of the groups felt that plastic is a major contributor in many of the local and global challenges we face today. Young entrepreneurs created a campaign to ban single use plastics.
Now this bill has a very real chance of being passed here in Colorado. Our Dream Tank leaders and other young people will be there to share their stance on the issue.
What bills the kids will be talking about:
HB20-1162: Restrict Food and Retail Establishments’ Use Of Polystyrene
Sponsors: Representative Cutter, Representative Singer, Senator Foote, and Senator Story
HB20-1163: Management of Single-Use Products
We do not have a fact sheet yet, but it is coming soon!!
Sponsors: Representative Sirota, Representative A. Valdez, and Senator Gonzales
What is lobbying?
Lobbying is simply influencing your lawmaker on an issue. In this case, the issue is plastic pollution and we are having conversations with them about why we think it is important to pass legislation that would reduce how much plastic Coloradans use! The meetings can be anywhere from 30 seconds in the hallway of the Capitol to 15 minutes in their office. The kids can ask questions, tell stories, and simply engage in a conversation with them!
What bills will the students be talking to lawmakers about?
Right now there are two bills in the state legislature that would reduce single-use plastic use in Colorado. One would restrict food establishments from using polystyrene (commonly known as foam) (HB20-1162) and one would restrict establishments from using plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, etc (HB20-1163). We want the lawmakers to vote yes on these bills!
We will be having Youth Correspondents at Youth Lobby Day, documenting their experience! Follow us on instagram @DreamTankSquad to see our live stories!