We are All Winners in the Earth Month Plastic Bag Swap

Participating Metro communities and their residents pulled out all the stops (or maybe we should say pulled out all the plastic bags) for the first ever Earth Month Plastic Bag Swap sponsored by Metro Waste Authority. [insert your city’s name], along with 19 other area cities collected 1,813 pounds of plastic bags during the month of April. That is an estimated 109,000 plastic bags – enough plastic to make nine park benches – that are not filling the landfill, causing problems at the recycling sorting facility, or becoming pollution on land and sea! Thanks to everyone who participated. Together we DID make a difference!

Congratulations to the City of Alleman – the smallest of all participating communities – for collecting the most bags during the competition and winning the new park bench made from recycled plastic. Alleman collected 264 pounds of bags, followed by Grimes (187 pounds), Clive (178 pounds), Johnston (143 pounds) and Prairie City (141 pounds).

 Carlisle had 106 pounds and came in fifth place. Thank you for your participation!

What Can I Do with My Bags Now? Here are some ideas on what to do with your bags now the Earth Month Plastic Bag Swap has ended:

  • Plastic bags do not belong in your curbside recycling cart, but can be recycled at your local grocery and retail stores. The bag collection bins are usually located near the front entrance. Use this Recycling Locator to find a drop-off location near you.
  • Don’t use them! Remember to take reusable bags when shopping, eliminating the need for plastic bags all together. If you are one of the more than 600 area residents who swapped their plastic bags for a free Metro Waste Authority reusable tote, stow it in your purse or car so you don’t forget!

The Earth Month Plastic Bag Swap may be over, but residents can continue to combat plastic bag use throughout the entire year. Plastic bags are among the most visible sign of pollution there is across the world. They kill hundreds of thousands of waterfowl and marine life each year and they don’t biodegrade, meaning it will take hundreds of years for them to decompose in a landfill.

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The Earth Month Plastic Bag Swap may have ended, but you can still recycle your bags back at a grocery or retail store near you.