Who writes our students’ textbooks and where do the authors get their information? Recently we read an article about the influence of the American Chemistry Council over the environmental curriculum in some of California’s schools. The referenced article describes in detail the new section on the “Advantages of Plastic Shopping Bags!”
All we can say is, “WHAT??”
How is it possible that the lobbying group that worked so hard to defeat California’s statewide plastic bag ban and threatens to sue cities that adopt separate measures, is now affecting school children’s curricula? Follow the money trail.
In addition to the various changes to the text to promote a “balanced” look at single use bags, the editor of the curriculum removed a mention of plastic bags as “litter” in the teachers’ edition after the ACC’s representative complained. “To be clear,” wrote the Ogilvy executive (who represents the ACC), “plastic bags don’t start as litter; they become litter. …” Now, when the word litter appears in the text, it is prefaced with “can become” or is used as a verb.
A lot of people worked very hard to create this new environmental curriculum, which has garnered a lot of praise. We are concerned that the influence of the ACC means that the undeniable harmful effects of plastic bags are being sugar-coated (or should we say plastic-coated) to promote their continued use.