Bag Blog

Reduce, recycle, reuse, it's a bag's life

(By Daye Decker) -- Reduce, reuse, recycle we've heard it a million times, but one campaign is working to make it a reality here in Texas. The Lone Star State is joining the ranks with two other states to launch a statewide plastic bag recycling program in conjunction with the national "A Bag's Life" program.

In Texas, the program entails about 1,800 retail drop-off locations. With several locations right here in Amarillo. The program uses social media to get the word out about plastic bag recycling, there's even an app for it. The app helps consumers locate the nearest place to drop off those gently used bags. The app and a make-your-own video contest was launched Tuesday at the Texas State Capitol.

In addition to retailers, several state agencies are also involved in the initiative, which is already in place in Florida and Virginia.

A Bag's Life, uses quirky messages to get their point across like "don't treat me like trash" and "gimme a second chance," and encourages Texans to you guessed it reduce, reuse, and recycle their grocery bags.

You may not know that in addition to those free grocery bags you can also recycle your used dry cleaning bags, newspapers and bread bags, as well as wraps used on stuff like paper towels or bottled water. All those bags can be dropped off at a participating location near you, which you can find by clicking here.

Commissioner Buddy Garcia with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, noted that while plastic bag recycling is not new to Texas, this unique program - a statewide educational partnership in which public and private groups work together to promote recycling plastic bags - certainly is.

Nationwide, plastic bag recycling is on the rise, with more than 832 million pounds recycled in 2008, an increase of 28 percent since 2005.

Texas high school students are also encouraged to enter A Bag's Life make-it-yourself video contest. There are two categories - Reuse Fun and Recycling Educational. Two Grand Prize Winners in each category will win $1000 each. Two Second Place Winners in each category will win $500 each. Two Third Place Winners in each category will win $300 each. So what are you waiting for go make that video and get creative!

A Bag's Life partners include: Keep Texas Beautiful, Texas Retailers Association, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Department of Transportation's Don't Mess With Texas campaign, Texas Land Commission, State of Texas Alliance for Recycling, Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores, Trex and the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council. Participating statewide retailers include Brookshire Brothers, Brookshire Grocery, HEB, JC Penney, Kroger, Lowes, Randalls, Super 1 Foods, Target, Tom Thumbs, United Supermarkets and Walmart.