November 23 – A Day Without A Bag Takes Over San Diego County on December 16

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San Diego, CA – Cities throughout the San Diego region, local community groups, environmental organizations, and the County of San Diego have proclaimed the third Thursday of December as “A Day Without a Bag” to raise awareness and promote a greener holiday season.  

On Thursday, December 16, 2010, businesses and residents will promote or utilize reusable bags for their holiday and regular shopping needs instead of standard single-use plastic and paper bags. 

“This is a community-wide event to support the development of behavior that is a more sustainable use of our resources by encouraging shoppers to choose reusable shopping bags over disposables. Reuse is far better than recycling – it prevents waste and litter, which in the end is the highest and best use of resources,” stated Regional Coordinator Jacy Bolden.

Each year, people in the greater San Diego region use more than 1.7 billion plastic bags, which is about 500 bags per person annually.  According to the U.S. EPA, less than five percent of plastic bags are actually recycled, and they are made from non-renewable fossil fuels.  Even though paper bags are easily recycled in curbside programs, proponents of “A Day Without A Bag” stress that a single-use of any disposable bag is not the highest and best use of natural resources.

Over the last two years the cities of Chula Vista, Encinitas, Oceanside and Solana Beach have shown that “Day Without A Bag” efforts in their communities have increased reusable bag use.

“Day Without A Bag is going region-wide this year, and we’re thrilled to see such strong early support in coordinating this type of an event. Retailers in the cities that have carried this event out previously have indicated a 20-50% decrease in disposable bag usage. Clearly it’s an effective promotion,” noted Bolden.

To make the event possible, retailers and volunteers will give away more than 25,000 reusable shopping bags, while supplies last, at over 100 locations throughout the county.  Retailers currently committed to participate in the event include: all Jimbo’s Natural Foods, Smart & Final, Stater Bros Grocery,  and Target locations; SeaWorld stores; San Diego Padres Team Store; San Diego Zoo and Zoo Safari stores; select Albertsons, Ralphs and Walmart locations; as well as all major grocers in Encinitas, Oceanside and Solana Beach. 

Beyond the above retailers, additional bags have been donated or provided by:  Chico Bags, EDCO Waste & Recycling, EnviroSax, Republic/Allied Waste, Think Blue San Diego Region, Surfrider Foundation and the cities of Chula Vista, Encinitas, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos and Santee.  Key financial and in-kind sponsors include SeaWorld, Sycuan Casino, San Diego Union Tribune, and the cities of Chula Vista, Encinitas, and Oceanside.  Environmental organizations coordinating volunteers and promotions countywide include:  San Diego Coastkeeper, I Love A Clean San Diego, Solana Center for Environmental Innovation and the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Retailers and volunteers interested in participating can find more information about the event by visiting, which also includes a Google map with bag giveaway locations and times.