Bush: Plastic bags are "evil"

No, not that Bush, silly! The president's niece, former model Lauren Bush.

By Katharine Mieszkowski
January 15, 2008 12:40AM (UTC)
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Here at Broadsheet, we've avidly followed the efforts by fashion icons to make carrying your own reusable bag trendy. See: the international sensation caused by Anya Hindmarch's "I'm not a plastic bag" tote.

Now, the president's niece Lauren Bush, a former model turned charity spokesperson, is publicly decrying the use of plastic bags, lobbying against the flimsy pieces of polyethylene and promoting a reusable alternative. Sunday, Bush told CNN that plastic bags are "evil," decrying their unfortunate environmental impacts, which I've written about here.


Bush is among those who lobbied the New York City Council to pass a law requiring large stores that distribute the bags to take them back from customers for recycling, a measure the council overwhelmingly approved last week. (In other bagging plastic bags news, the Chinese government recently announced that it will ban free plastic bags, joining countries such as Bangladesh and South Africa that have done the same.)

As a spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Programme, Bush is also promoting a reusable hemp bag called the Feed bag, the proceeds from which feed hungry children. Launching the bag in December 2007, Bush defended her uncle's policies in the developing world, which given his flagging popularity won't likely do a lot to stimulate bag sales in much of the U.S., not to mention the rest of the world.

Say what you will about former models and their social causes, it's heartening to see Bush use the free publicity from her last name, which is shared by one of the most environmentally destructive presidents in history, for an eco-crusade. Yet, if she really wants to do something about plastic bags, couldn't she lobby her uncle to take them on? Considering Uncle George's ideological opposition to almost any regulation of business, we won't hold our breath.

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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