Got Your Bags?
Thank you for visiting the “Got Your Bags?” page — your one-stop-shop for all the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle information on bags!
The “Got Your Bags?” campaign is a public education and outreach effort aimed at increasing Californians’ use of resuable bags, awareness of the recyclability of plastic bags and film, and statewide access to locations for recycling bags and wraps. Paper bags can also be reused and recycled in curbside paper recycling programs
The campaign originated as a grassroots effort with the Mariposa County Public Works Department (MCPWD) and the Mariposa County Unified School District, who worked together on a pilot stenciling project in local supermarket parking lots. MCPWD staff created the “Got Your Bags?” slogan and logo stencil design. The stencil painting was then incorporated into a lesson plan on recycling for summer school students.
Keep California Beautiful (KCB) is now taking this campaign statewide by uniting non-profit, business, community and government organizations around the common goal of promoting the three R’s as they relate to bags – reduce, reuse and recycle.
- Many California grocers and retailers sell inexpensive reusable bags and shoppers can always decline a bag at checkout (a bag isn’t necessary for a few small items). The key is to remember to take your bags on any shopping trip!
- More than 90 percent of consumers reuse or repurpose their grocery bags at home for an infinite number of purposes.
- State law requires most large supermarkets and pharmacies to set up recycling bins so every Californian can return plastic shopping bags, dry-cleaning bags, bread bags, wraps from paper towels, bathroom tissue, napkins, diapers – even the plastic bag that delivers the newspaper. Recycling these bags and wraps allows them to have a second life as new products including backyard fencing and decking, building and construction products, shopping carts, and of course, new bags. Paper shopping bags can also be recycled through most curbside paper recycling programs or composting programs.
“Got Your Bags?” Campaign Partners:
In addition to Keep California Beautiful, other initial campaign partners include Albertsons, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, ChicoBag, Lucky, Save Mart, SUPERVALU, the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council, Roplast Inc., and Weisenbach Specialty Printing, among others.
The campaign developed a variety of outreach materials and hosted in-store events in various regions of California, including the Bay Area, Los Angeles Area, Sacramento Area, and San Diego Area. Campaign collateral materials such as pins, buttons, stickers and stencils can be purchased directly from Weisenbach Specialty products here.
Tip Cards – Tip cards include useful information on the how-to’s of bag reuse and recycling. They can be distributed in a number of ways, from bag stuffers to mailing inserts.
Buttons – Employees and staff can wear the “Got Your Bags?” buttons to remind customers and visitors to bring their plastic bags to the store for recycling and to encourage the use of reusable bags.
Window Clings – The “Got Your Bags?” campaign will offer two sizes of window clings/decals for use in cars and on business entrance/exit doors and windows. The clings will help remind customers and visitors to bring their plastic bags back to stores for recycling and to inquire about reusable bags.
Stencils – The stencil design of the”Got Your Bags?” logo gives community members an opportunity to promote the campaign in parking lots and sidewalks, with the permission of property owners
Banner Ads – Banner ads can be placed on your web site and in emails to customers, members and employees, or be displayed in other creative ways. These ads link directly to the”Got Your Bags?” campaign web site where visitors can access more information.
Reusable Bags – KCB has a limited supply of reusable bags that can be made available as giveaways during promotional events.
Plastic Bag Holders – KCB has a limited supply of plastic bag holders that are designed to store plastic bags until needed for reuse or recycling at the grocery store. They can be made available as giveaways during select promotional events.
Sample Educational Lesson Plans & Activities – These materials will be available to educators and others who wish to incorporate the campaign’s reduce, reuse and recycle messages into their curriculum.
Plastic Bag Reuse, Repurpose and Recycling Tips
There are many ways to reuse plastic carryout bags for other purposes all throughout your home. This extends the use of the bag at least once before it gets disposed:
- Hand protectors – place them over your hands to handle messes indoors and out
- Kitchen clean-up – place them under the cutting board for quick scrap removal
- Trash can liners – use them in bathrooms and other household waste baskets
- Doggie duty – bring them on dog walks to collect and dispose of pet waste
You can recycle bags if they are clean and dry after you repurpose them in these ways:
- Wet Umbrella Covers – keep items in your bag dry when your umbrella is wet
- Dirty clothes or Shoes – Tuck bags in your suitcase as dirty clothes bags or wrap around shoes to protect your suitcase and your clothes
State law requires most large supermarkets and pharmacies to set up recycling bins so every Californian can return plastic shopping bags for recycling. In most stores, bag collection bins are located at the front entrance or in checkout areas. Grocery bags aren’t the only things that can be recycled; the bins also accept all bags labeled #2 or #4, including the following items:
- Dry-cleaning bags (remove paper and hangers)
- Bread bags
- Produce bags
- Wraps from paper towels, bathroom tissue, napkins, and diapers
- Plastic newspaper bags
- Mattress bags
- Retail bags (remove hard plastic or string handles)
- Zip lock bags (remove hard components)
- Cereal box liners
- Plastic shipping envelopes (remove labels)
- Case wrap (e.g., snacks, water bottles)
- Furniture and electronic wrap
Receipts, debris, and other contaminants may prevent bags from being recycled properly, so make sure all bags and wraps are clean, empty, and have not been in any direct contact with food or material that has been painted or glued.
Storing plastic bags and product wraps in a plastic bag offers neat, convenient storage. Simply knot the handles when you’re ready to drop them off at your local grocer or retailer. Recycling these bags and wraps allows them to have a second life as new products including backyard fencing and decking, building and construction products, shopping carts, and of course, new bags.
Check out Earth911 or Plasticbagrecycling.org for additional plastic bag recycling information for your area!
The “Got Your Bags?” campaign is actively seeking partners to ensure these important environmental messages reach as many Californians as possible. Partners can contribute to the campaign in different ways – from distributing educational materials to conducting in-store events and giveaways.
Everyone can play an important role in reducing trash, preventing litter and putting the three R’s to use! The “Got Your Bags?” campaign is working to make California the cleanest and most beautiful state in the nation.