Many area grocery stores are gearing up to promote the use of eco-friendly, reusable bags among shoppers. The “Where’s Your Bag” campaign by Channelkeeper, the City of Santa Barbara, Choose to Reuse, and The California Growers Association is set to kickoff Friday, August 28. The campaign will educate shoppers about the detrimental effects of paper and plastic bags while reminding shoppers to bring their own bags.

The founders are hosting a campaign kickoff at De la Guerra Plaza on Friday from 2-5 p.m. The event will feature the Banana Slug String Band from Santa Cruz, reusable bag giveaways, a plastic bag collection site, a “Trashy Fashion Show,” and information tables around the site.

Over the next few weeks, volunteers will distribute “reminder kits” to participating grocery stores in the region, said Kathi King, a founding partner of “Where’s Your Bag?” The kits include parking lot sign, car decals, and in-store signs, as well as buttons for cashiers and baggers. Volunteers will also train store employees in how to further encourage shoppers to use reusable bags.

According to King, studies show that Californians alone use more than 19 billion plastic bags per year. Additionally, more than 14 million trees are cut down across the country every year for the production of paper bags.

“There is a ton of energy consumption in these items,” King said. “Also, the stores and taxpayers are paying a lot of money for these bags. It would be economically and environmentally beneficial to switch to reusable bags.”

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