Bag Blog

Island Education - A Bag's Life competition teaches environmental lessons at Galveston schools

The Daily News — Nov. 11, 2013 

By Johnston Farrow

Schools across Galveston and Bolivar will mark November 15, America Recycles Day, by kicking off a competition to see which campus can collect and recycle the most plastic bags before Earth Day in April 2014. Over five months, students are expected to collect thousands of bags that will make a positive environmental and educational impact.

Known as A Bag’s Life, the community-wide competition will officially start with a presentation at Oppe Elementary Magnet School of Coastal Studies this Thursday at 10 a.m. with representatives from City Hall, Galveston ISD, the local environmental non-profit group Clean Galveston, and A Bag’s Life sponsor, Trex Company in attendance.

 A Bag’s Life is a public educational campaign that started on Earth Day 2010, uniting the non-profits, local businesses, schools and the community to make it easier for more people to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic bags and plastic wrapping. While Galveston does offer a recycle collections program – located on 61st Street and Broadway – the idea of recycling plastic bags and plastic wrap packaging is often an after-thought.

The campaign will encourage students to bring their plastic bags from home and collect them in designated boxes located in prime locations at their campus. Trex, a company that manufactures outdoor decking and furniture made from recycled content, will award the school that collects the most bags per student with a park bench created from 10,000 recycled plastic bags. Every school that competes will also receive a birdhouse made from recycled material from the company.

Last year, A Bag’s Life made a huge impact in Corpus Christi Independent School District, where students collected tens of thousands of plastic bags, reducing their carbon imprint and eliminating massive amounts of non-biodegradable materials from landfills.

Students aren’t the only ones that can participate in A Bag’s Life. Families, community members, businesses, churches and anyone else looking to make a progressive environmental change is welcome to drop off plastic bags and plastic wrap material at any Galveston ISD school throughout the campaign.

In addition to plastic bags, participants can return the following plastic items that recycle: newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, bread and veggie bags, product wraps, furniture wraps, food storage bags, cereal box liners, tyvek, plastic shipping envelopes and ice bags.

In a time when pollution and global warming are often front page news, teaching children at a young age to be conscientious about their surrounding environment can mean a greener world for future generations. The important lesson is simple: there are other options than throwing reusable materials in the trash, that recycling can become a pattern in daily lives.

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