HOW THE PROJECT GOT ITS START

In 2009, a group of us went to visit our friend in Andalucía, Spain, where he was working as a chef in a restaurant. On our first day there, we ran into a problem when we went to go buy some groceries at a local supermarket. None of the thin, plastic bags that we often used for our own shopping were anywhere to be found. We asked around, eventually learning that the local community had begun shunning the use of these plastic bags because of the large amounts of waste they caused. During our trip we saw just how widespread this movement had become, unlike the situation back home.
Two days later, we went into town one evening to enjoy a huge international festival that had the entire city celebrating. Despite the fact that the city was filled to the brim with people from all over the world eating, buying gifts, and enjoying themselves, we were shocked at how clean the city remained! Our second lesson of the trip was immediately clear—it was possible to keep a city clean, even with big crowds and events going on all around us.
Later, we were walking around looking for the right bin to toss our empty energy drinks into. Suddenly, it hit us: keeping our environment clean, reducing our consumption and waste—these actions are all based on educating people and promoting the right kinds of values! We would later come to witness this epiphany firsthand. At a well-known city festival of ours held in 2013, activists from an international youth movement arrived to present visitors with information on the “Just Say No to Plastic Bags” campaign. The crowd had a tremendous response to these activists, who were following in the footsteps of American activist and conservationist Chad Pregracke. Chad had previously risen to prominence through an article written in the Smithsonian Magazine that highlighted his efforts to inspire people to improve the environment. After the article was published, thousands of activists and volunteers around the world joined Chad in supporting this cause.

HOW WE CAN MAKE THIS CAMPAIGN HAPPEN

We want to support the efforts of young activists creating social pressure to limit the use of plastic bags, as well as any bags or containers containing PET materials. This campaign is intended to reduce the amount of landfill waste and water, air, and soil pollution that occurs based on the choices we make every day.
  • RECYCLE: Up to 30% of manufactured plastic bags and plastic waste can be repurposed.
  • REDUCE COSTS: Reduce the costs associated with removing and sorting recyclable waste brought to landfills.
  • IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT: Contribute to a cleaner environment and protect the ozone layer.
Our activists are directly involved in the campaign by demonstrating just how flimsy these plastic bags really are. Their videos seen on tablets, smartphones, and computers throughout the country. Anyone who supports us will receive 3 large designer shopping bags (made from recycled materials) for carrying around personal belongings and shopping items alike. These bags are tough, big, and strong. They’re made from a PP woven material used by businesses around the world. You can use these bags again and again without ever generating any plastic waste!

WHAT’S MOTIVATING US

Our goal is to show that even without government support, we can create a better atmosphere to collectively improve the environment through our enthusiasm and actions. Plastic bags are harmful for the environment. Our informational campaign and presentations stress the benefits of using recyclable objects whenever possible—this is in the best interest of maintaining stable, vibrant ecological systems all around us. In 2010, Diana Cohen, a well-known international activist, spoke to a packed TED Talk audience about the threats that birds are facing due to widespread plastic use. The audience burst into applause at the conclusion of her speech and was awed by some of the beautiful designer birdcages she had brought along with her. She suggested that her audience make some of these designer birdcages of their own. Her idea was simple—if we continue to treat nature as just another ordinary part of our lives, then we stand to lose a lot of beauty in the future due to our inaction. SOURCES: Jack Canfield, The Success Principles. Activist Dianna Cohen, Tough truths about plastic pollution.