Our Bring Your Own Bag Saratoga (BYOBag) initiative aimed to minimize the harmful impacts of plastic on the environment by decreasing local consumers’ and retailers’ dependence on single-use bags.
Single-use plastic bags are literally choking our planet. Plastic bags, which are made from petroleum or natural gas by-products, take a significant amount of energy to manufacture, transport and recycle. Since plastic does not biodegrade, single-use bags end up polluting our environment for the long term – endangering wildlife and leaching toxic chemicals that can negatively impact human health. In the U.S. alone, we consume 60,000 plastic bags every five seconds, which adds up to over one hundred billion bags annually. Only 5-15% of these bags are recycled.
To encourage the growing trend among consumers to rely on reusable shopping bags, we conducted outreach to local businesses, residents, and government. We sold our iconic canvas BYOBags to community members, and organized educational events like screenings of the documentary film “Bag It“. We also advocated for a local ordinance to systematically reduce our community’s reliance on single-use disposable bags, but unfortunately the campaign did not result in any new legislation.