Bag Blog

"A Bag's Life" Campaign Encourages Floridians to Change Habits, Creates Buzz for Plastic Bag Recycling

A statewide plastic bag recycling awareness campaign called A Bag’s Life, which includes an interactive and educational website (www.abagslife.com) and mobile application with 1,600 recycling drop-off sites by zip code, was launched during Earth Day at the Capitol April 22, with the help of Governor Charlie Crist, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Retail Federation.

A Bag’s Life encourages Floridians to reduce, recycle and reuse carryout bags and other materials like dry cleaning and bread bags, and the wraps on items like paper towels or bottled water.  Quirky but direct messaging like “Don’t Treat Me Like Trash” and “Gimme a Second Chance” comes straight from an iconic bag.  It includes a video contest and social networking element to fire up support for contests that will be held in the fall.  The easy to use recycle location finder lists the nearest drop-off points and the Google Maps option makes recycling plastic bags and wraps easier than ever before.

Demonstrating what public and private groups can accomplish by working together, A Bags Life is a cooperative effort of the DEP, Florida Recycling Partnership, Florida Retail Federation, Recycle Florida Today and the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council. The campaign is being touted as the first of its kind nationally because of its voluntary statewide reach and innovative comprehensive list of drop-off locations from the state’s largest retailers, including grocery and home improvement stores. More are expected as popularity and measurability increase.

“Retailers recognize the important role they have to play in Florida’s recycling policies, and they embrace that role with enthusiasm,” said Samantha Hunter Padgett, executive coordinator of the Florida Retail Federation Sustainability Council. “Many of our members are already actively engaged in the effort to recycle plastic bags.  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.” 

The plastic bag icon on the website is designed to take on a life of its own, smiling when it’s happy, frowning when it’s not. Website copy suggests that individuals should step up and do their part to address litter and waste rather than blame the bag if it’s not being recycled or reused.

“Recycling plastic bags is a responsibility we all share and by embracing positive ‘green’ actions today, we benefit the future of our planet,” said Lauren McCarthy, executive director of the Florida Recycling Partnership.  “By taking the extra time to bring bags back to the store and drop them in recycling bins, people are not only giving that bag a second chance to be made into something else like outdoor decking, park benches or new bags, they’re also incorporating simple earth-friendly practices into their daily lives.”