In the U.S., half a million plastic bags are used every minute and each has an average life span of just 12 minutes.
It is estimated that plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down, if at all.
And, that less than 1% of plastic bags are recycled.
Switching to reusable shopping bags reduces waste and litter, resulting in cleaner streets and waterways.
The City of White Plains is encouraging all residents to make the switch to reusable bags. As a first step in this effort, Mayor Thomas M. Roach today announced the student winner of the City’s Reusable Bag Design Contest, Max Crawley, and unveiled Max’s winning design.
The contest was held at . The winning design will be printed on reusable bags and those bags will be distributed by the City and participating supermarkets and retailers.
“The Reusable Bag Design Contest received a positive response in the school and we were impressed by all the students’ submissions,” said Mayor Roach. “Max Crawley’s design has the winning combination of being both uniquely identifiable to White Plains and expressing our green spirit through the leaves and the stylized arrows, which nicely convey recycle/re-use.”
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Mayor Roach was joined at the announcement by Councilwoman Milagros Lecuona, representatives from Shop Rite, Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, Wal-Mart, Citizens Campaign for the Environment and the White Plains School District to discuss the City’s plan to work cooperatively with the business community to educate residents and shoppers about the benefits of using reusable shopping bags and encourage everyone to make the switch.
This initiative began last fall, when the Mayor invited the large retailers in the City to meet with him around the issue of reducing the use of plastic shopping bags. A plan for an education and awareness initiative developed out of that and subsequent meetings. The first step was a Reusable Bag Design Contest among White Plains High School students.
Working cooperatively with our partners in the business community, we are now going to have this winning design printed on reusable shopping bags. We will then work together to distribute them both at the participating stores and at various community events sponsored by the City.
Watch for the bags this fall!
The approach being taken by the City of White Plains demonstrates how positive change can be made in a cooperative way with the business community.
“The City of White Plains has a diverse population, a varied commercial base and a large number of shoppers,” said Mayor Roach. “We believe that this approach is right for us and that it is a starting point upon which we can build. We are asking people to change their habits and as we all know, habits do not change overnight; but over time. The White Plains Reusable Bag will serve as a reminder to residents and shoppers to make that change.”