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   Got Your Bags? Campaign Kicks Off In San Diego
by Keep California Beautiful
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2009 at 4:37PM EST

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Today non-profit, government and business groups joined together to kick off the "Got Your Bags?" campaign - a public education and outreach effort aimed at encouraging Californians to use reusable bags for shopping and bring plastic bags back to the store for recycling.

California state law (AB 2449) requires grocery stores and pharmacies with more than 10,000 square feet of retail space to provide bins for the collection and recycling of plastic shopping bags. Yet research shows that consumer awareness remains low, and shoppers often forget to bring their bags back to the store. The same holds true for reusable bags.

"Our goal with this campaign is to give consumers that extra reminder so they translate good intentions into action," said Christine Flowers-Ewing, Executive Director of Keep California Beautiful. "We all play an important role as individuals by using reusable bags and increasing the recycling of plastic bags and wraps. California's residents need to get the message that they can recycle all types of clean plastic film, such as dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, and wraps covering paper towels, drinks or other retail items."

In San Diego, the "Got Your Bags?" campaign is working to bring together a coalition of partners that will help spread the important environmental messages in a number of creative ways. For example, 58 Albertsons stores in the San Diego area are featuring "Got Your Bags?" reminders in the form of decals on their front doors, buttons for employees and select stores are placing stencils at store entrances.

"We encourage our customers to recycle their plastic bags in our stores," said Rick Crandall, Albertsons director of environmental stewardship. "Our plastic recycling bins provide a convenient place to drop off and recycle plastic bags when you shop at Albertsons stores. The 'Got Your Bags?' campaign is a great extra push to reinforce and remind us all that reducing, reusing and recycling is very important."

The campaign also includes city and state level agencies working together.

"As a longstanding member of the Keep California Beautiful Board of Directors, the City of San Diego has been part of the team bringing diverse partners together to maximize resources and the effectiveness of the campaign," said Chris Gonaver, Director of Environmental Services for the City of San Diego.

"Choosing a reusable bag over a one-way paper or plastic bag is a simple choice we can each make that benefits the environment," said Margo Reid Brown, chair of the California Integrated Waste Management Board. "We are pleased to partner with Keep California Beautiful and others on 'Got Your Bags?' It's the call to action we need to remind us to bring our reusable bags with us while shopping."

The American Chemistry Council, which includes the Progressive Bag Affiliates - a group of leading manufacturers and recyclers of plastic bags and plastic resins in the United States - also are participating in the effort.

"We are delighted to work with Keep California Beautiful to help promote access to convenient recycling for San Diego residents," said Sherri McCarthy, Manager, Western Region State Affairs with the American Chemistry Council. "Plastic bags are too valuable to waste and should be recycled. I'm pleased to provide plastic bag holders to Albertsons' customers so shoppers will have an easy way to collect and store plastic bags for recycling. Recycled plastic bags and wraps can be made into durable backyard decks, home building products, shopping carts, and of course, new bags."

During the event, Flowers-Ewing also recognized two local San Diego "Got Your Bags?" partners, I Love A Clean San Diego and the San Diego New Children's Museum. I Love A Clean San Diego is implementing local education and outreach efforts to share the "Got Your Bags?" message in local communities. The San Diego New Children's Museum is looking toward a long-term partnership with KCB which will start with the Museum serving as a local drop-off location for the recycling of plastic bags and film plastics. The Museum will provide a $10 discount on museum membership (which gets members into reciprocal children's museums around the country) for anyone that brings in 20 plastic bags.

The "Got Your Bags?" campaign originated as a grassroots effort with the Mariposa County Public Works Department (MCPWD) and the Mariposa County Unified School District, who worked together on a pilot stenciling project in local supermarket parking lots. MCPWD staff created the "Got Your Bags?" slogan and logo stencil design. The stencil painting was then incorporated into a lesson plan on recycling for summer school students.

Source: Keep California Beautiful

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