Join the Better Bag Challenge 2016

Last year's success with the Better Bag Challenge led to full deployment of this initiative for all partners worldwide. Its goal is to spread awareness and inspire action about reducing ocean plastic trash, specifically single-use plastic bags that take hundreds of years to decompose. Plastic in the ocean harms animals that are trapped and injured by it and also eat it. 80% of this ocean trash comes from the land rather than being directly deposited in the ocean. Many of us are already aware of this problem, but what can we do about it?

The Better Bag Challenge provides a fun and easy way to make a difference! What will you do to become involved this year?

Enter the challenge:

To enter the challenge, you can agree to the pledge: “I promise not take any disposable plastic bags for a whole year. Take a better bag instead!”

Even if you already avoid using single-use plastic bags and already have a “better bag”, you can still reduce your plastic consumption in other ways. Still register for the challenge, but consider a different way that you will reduce ocean trash: by buying cosmetics and personal care products that do not contain plastic microbeads, using a reusable water bottle, and/or avoiding disposable utensils and wrappers.

At your Event:

If you are organizing an event for World Oceans Day, you can encourage visitors to take the Better Bag Challenge! Collect emails of the participants so you can follow up with them and thank them later, and encourage them to do even more to help. Learn more about how to incorporate the challenge into your event.

The Better Bag:

Sell or give out reuseable bags like these at your World Oceans Day event. Offering a bag helps inspire action and committed behavior change! Last year Aquarium of the Bay, Shedd Aquarium, Vancouver Aquarium, and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center gave out reusable plastic bags to encourage visitors to sign up for the challenge and not waste single-use plastic bags, and they had impressive results! This year,many more partners are providing ways for guests and visitors to take action.

Be a Role Model:

As an organization such as a zoo, aquarium, school, surf or diving group, etc. you have the power to inspire action of your visitors and members by your own sustainable practices. Investigate what your organization is doing to reduce your own use of single use plastics, try new actions this year, and advertise your actions to your visitors. Here are some ways that your organization can reduce its 'plastics footprint.'

Share your Pledge:

After taking the Better Bag Challenge, you can share your accomplishments and encourage others to join you on social media, with #BetterBagChallenge. Share other people in your post to encourage them to also take the challenge! As individuals our efforts to reduce our plastic trash do make a significant difference for the health of the ocean, especially when combined with millions of organizations and individuals around the world!

Here are social media resources to promote the Better Bag Challenge and sample posts to share!

As an organization encouraging the Better Bag Challenge at a World Oceans Day event, you could also set up a station for people to take pictures with pledge cards telling why they are taking the the Better Bag Challenge.

Lena Champlin 26-Apr-2016