The online left rallied this month around a 12-year-old Illinois girl, Abby Goldberg, who launched a petition that her state outlaw plastic bags. As of writing, the petition at Change.org had notched 158,750 signers.
The petition became an internet phenomenon primarily for the organizer’s youth. But a recent interview with the young girl revealed she was largely uninvolved in the process, instead an environmental activist wrote and floated it while she was out of the country.
Reporter: And from there you just kind of took this on and it took on a life of its own. There are other petitions out there with sort of the same focus or the same issue. But yet yours has received 150,000 signatures. What’s set you apart from some of the other ones?
Goldberg: Well a friend at my school got me in contact with another activist named Ben Zolno. He was the creator of Plastic Bag State of Mind. His idea was to start this petition, and I was in Israel for two weeks so the whole thing got started while I was on vacation.
Reporter: Ok and it’s my understanding that you get pretty fired up about this whole thing. And in fact in your petition you use some pretty tough words for folks out there. Tell me about that.
Goldberg: Well, not all of them were exactly my words. I mean, I wrote them, but Ben edited them and he changed it and I agreed to it, too.
Zolno, a Huffington Post environmental blogger, has previously written that plastic bags–100 percent recyclable, and the product of an industry that employs north of 30,000 nationwide–would “damn … children and their planet for eternity.”