Bag Blog

Dallas Schools Compete in Biggest Challenge Yet

The Dallas Independent School District joined the city of Dallas in kicking off the latest A Bag’s Life plastic bag and film challenge Dec. 10. With dozens of schools signed up to compete, and a dozen or so more expected to join in, the challenge may just prove what everybody already knows — everything is BIG in Texas.

The competition will run until Earth Day 2016 when two winners will be named. The school that collects the most plastic bags and wraps per student and the one that collects the most total bags and wraps will each win a Trex Company bench, made from recycled plastic bags.

The kickoff was held at Elisha Pease Elementary School in south Dallas. Principal Alphonso Hartsfield and his very talented art instructor greeted community and school leaders, retailers and friends to the school. And yes, that’s a very cool gingerBAG house alongside them.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is a big supporter of the A Bag’s Life competition and got a kick out of watching students stuff their plastic bags and wraps into the recycle bin. 

City Councilmember Carolyn Arnold, a former elementary school teacher, was right at home in reminding students that responsibility begins early in life and recycling is something they can do individually and as a team.

The city’s GrowSouth initiative can now claim the A Bag's Life program as the latest effort to improve south Dallas by drawing upon one of its greatest resources — students.

Students joined Mayor Rawlings in signing a pledge to recycle, with the hopes that they in turn will take the message home.


Jolee Healey, DISD School Feeder Pattern District executive director, couldn't have been more proud of Pease students. The school was adorned in special holiday art that included the reuse of plastic bags and bottles in art throughout the school.

Retailers are a big part of the competition, which pairs a grocery store with each participating school. The retailers initially brought the program to Mayor Rawlings and the DISD as a way to encourage recycling at a micro-local level. 

Kroger representative Gary Huddleston took a few minutes to explain to students what type of bags and wraps can be recycled. Also attending were representatives from Albertsons/Tom Thumb, Walmart, Novolex and the Texas Retailers Association.

Adding to the festive tone of the morning, students performed for their peers, who wore “Don’t Treat Me Like Trash” t-shirts.

The celebration couldn’t have been sweeter with a sheet cake from Kroger, one of many partner-schools that will help with the recycling effort by taking back the bags and then recycling them.

So long for now, Dallas! We will check back with you again at the start of the New Year when the competition officially begins. Don’t forget to watch out during the holidays for clean and dry bags and wraps that can be recycled at your school in 2016.

That special Trex bench awaits a forever home.