By Wendy Dew
Have you ever stood in line at the grocery store and counted how many folks are using reusable grocery bags instead of paper or plastic? I have noticed a significant increase in the amount of people using reusable bags over the past few years. Can you imagine a day when no one asks you paper or plastic? Some teens in Texas can!
The ECoppell Club has dedicated itself to helping the environment by offering free cloth bags to residents of Coppell, TX. The club began in September 2009 with the goal of eliminating plastic bags from the Coppell area. They started with Coppell with the hope of eventually replacing plastic bags in United States and even the world!
Doing their own leg work, ECoppell collected statistics of cloth bags vs. plastic bags. They found that great majority of people in Coppell continue to use plastic bags while less than 10% use cloth bags. The students compiled their statistics by standing outside three major food retailers making notes of people with cloth bags and people with plastic bags as they left the retailer.
ECoppell intends to reduce plastic bag usage by 8% initially. To help achieve this goal, the members are distributing 5000 free cloth bags to the community. The club members went door-to-door and gave presentations at various activities to raise money to purchase the cloth bags.
ECoppell members have garnered support from the local community and businesses. We can all help support teens who are making a difference. I have been using canvas grocery bags for years now, they are a lot easier to carry and never break. We can all make a difference by kicking plastic bags to the curb!
Find out more about reducing, reusing and recycling
About the author: Wendy Dew is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for Region 8 in Denver, Colorado.