The state of Florida, in partnership with four other groups, has launched a plastic bag recycling awareness campaign that includes a website where state residents can locate the nearest of 1,600 retail drop-off sites in the state.
The campaign, dubbed A Bag's Life, was launched at an Earth Day news conference by Gov. Charlie Crist in Tallahassee, Fla. It is designed to help educate consumers about how to reuse and reduce their use of plastic bags, and how to recycle plastic carryout bags, bread bags and plastic bags wrapped about items such as paper towels and cases of bottled water.
The website, www.abags life.com, for example, offers consumers 15 ideas on how to reuse plastic bags, and shows plastic bags with messages such as A bag is what you make it, Don't treat me like trash, Think outside the bag and Gimme a second chance. Consumers also can upload their own one-minute video of a bag's life.
The plastics division of the American Chemistry Council, which is one of the groups partnering on the campaign, said the program is specific to the state of Florida, and gave no indication whether similar campaigns might be rolled out elsewhere.
The educational campaign is the first step taken by the state since the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued its retail bags report to the Legislature on Feb. 1. The report recommended education as the first step, as opposed to a preliminary report that had proposed a 5-cent tax on plastic bags starting in 2011 that would have increased to 25 cents in 2014, followed by a ban in 2015.
The interactive website is sprinkled with messages that tell people that the life of a plastic bag is literally in your hands and encourages them to reuse bags in a number of positive ways rather than discard them with the rest of their trash.
It also explains that recycled plastic bags can have a new life as splinter-free decking, crates, containers and bags.
The educational project is a cooperative effort of the Florida DEP, the Florida Recycling Partnership, Florida Retail Federation, the Recycle Florida Today and ACC's Progressive Bag Affiliates group.
Many of our members are already actively engaged in the effort to recycle plastic bags, Samantha Hunter Padgett, executive coordinator of the Florida Retail Federation Sustainability Council, said in a statement. A Bag's Life takes those efforts one step further by making it easy for customers to locate the nearest recycling opportunity at their favorite local retailer.
A week ago in Pennsylvania, the PBA, in partnership with Temple University in Philadelphia, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful and the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, launched a citywide plastic bag recycling education campaign called Bring It Back Philly.
We're pleased to be a part of these events that will help further educate consumers about recycling plastic bags and product wraps, said Shari Jackson, director of the PBA group of the ACC.
In partnership with different state agencies in California, ACC of Arlington, Va., has placed nearly 700 recycling bins along some 20 beaches, as well as one rest stop in the state near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Copyright 2010 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.