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Make October 15 a Day without Plastic Shopping Bags

September 8, 2008

SULLIVAN COUNTY – Community groups around SullivanCounty will raise awareness about the environment through a “Bring Your Own Bag” Day on October 15.  Residents are urged to commit to a day without plastic or paper shopping bags by taking reusable bags with them when they shop at local stores. 


Bring Your Own Bag organizers include: the “Come Clean” reusable bag program sponsored the Bashakill Area Association and the Wurtsboro Board of Trade; “Erika’s Better Bags,” a Girl Scout Gold Award project from Barryville; and Project Earth Sack at SullivanWestElementary School in Jeffersonville.  Wurtsboro Renaissance and Sullivan Renaissance are also sponsors.


“Many people in SullivanCounty want to help the environment – this is one of the easiest ways to go green and clean up our county.  This day will be a great start for people to get in the habit of bringing re-usable shopping bags into the stores,” said Erika Vorstadt of Erika’s Better Bags.  “Please stop using plastic bags on October 15th and eventually every day will be a Bring Your Own Bag Day in SullivanCounty.”


Reasons to utilize reusable bags include: protecting roadsides from litter; saving space in the landfill; protecting wildlife from plastic materials; conserving energy used in manufacture; and establishing a green image for the county. 


When Sullivan West fifth graders surveyed their parents, they found that in a two-week period, 78 families used 2723 plastic bags.  Their research found that 500 million to one-trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide.  The students also began to notice all of the roadside litter, the impact on wildlife (especially marine animals) and other impacts of human consumption.


The Sullivan County Legislature, which helped fund ten environmental demonstration grants this year (including the Wurtsboro and Barryville reusable bag projects), is expected to issue a proclamation in support of October 15 at its session later this month.


Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  For more information about “Bring Your Own Bag” day, call Sullivan Renaissance at 845-295-2445 or visit the website at