San Angelo, TX (PRWEB) August 30, 2007
Can Americans live without the omnipresent plastic shopping bag? The world’s very first Bagonaut, Egan Sanders, (http://www.bagonaut.com) hopes to pave the way for a new era of eco-friendly shopping via reusable shopping bags. Donned in an eco-suit made of canvas, self-proclaimed “Bagonaut” Sanders will be lowered by crane into BIGBAG1, the world’s largest reusable canvas shopping bag, at noon on Saturday, September 8th, to raise awareness of the environmental challenges that plastic shopping bags present. Bagonaut will remain sealed within BIGBAG1 for 24 hours during the “Big Bag Event”, as it is being called, which will take place at the Sam’s Club store in San Angelo, Texas. People who donate non-perishable food items to the Concho Valley Regional Food Bank at the “Big Bag Event” will receive free reusable shopping bags donated by local, national, and international businesses.
Bagonaut wants to show people a way they can make a difference by shopping with reusable bags. It is one simple thing every person on Earth can do right now to conserve energy and petroleum, reduce landfills, decrease pollution, and prevent harm to wildlife. In addition, talks on environmental issues affecting communities and what sensible things can be done to solve them will be made. On Saturday evening a Plastic Bag Film Festival, featuring such bag classics as, “I Don't Need a Bag” and “Bag Monster Attacks San Francisco” will be screened on the front of BIGBAG1, the world’s largest reusable canvas shopping bag. Standing over 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide, BIGBAG1 was constructed in San Angelo by the West Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, a sheltered facility providing employment for blind and visually impaired individuals.
Plastic bags begin their lives as natural gas or other petrochemical substances. According to Worldwatch Institute, factories around the world manufacture 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags per year. Although many of these bags are recyclable, each year Americans return less than 1% and discard the rest. Once plastic bags are in the environment - whether in a landfill or polluting a lake - it can take several hundred years for them to decompose, and they contribute toxins to the soil and water as they do. According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks, and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year. Around 12 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic bags in the U.S. alone.
Both plastic and paper shopping bags can waste energy and natural resources, pollute the environment, and harm wildlife. Nationwide landfills already hold countless bags. According to the Wall Street Journal the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually at an estimated cost to retailers of 4 billion dollars. Each American typically uses over 300 plastic bags per year with each bag used for less than an hour. By contrast, reusable shopping bags can be used for many years, conserve resources, and are a safe way to both shop and protect the environment without excessive use of plastic or paper.
Plastic is a useful material that has created many products for society. How people use plastic bags and dispose of them is an issue that needs to be examined as increasing worldwide population and industrialization burdens the Earths ecosystems. If Bagonaut Sanders safely emerges from BIGBAG1 at noon, Sunday, September 9, he plans to continue to spread the word of eco-friendly shopping. Sanders, who resides in San Angelo, has been working with his local city government on an environmental plan to address the very visible effects of global warming, pollution, frequent droughts, high electricity rates, and recycling.
The Big Bag event has received generous support from a wide variety of local, national, and international reusable bag companies: 1 Bag at a Time, Bring Your Own Bag, ChicoBag, Coyote's Corner, Eco Bags, Eco-Logics, Envirosax, Get Hip Get Green, Globotote, Go-Again Bags, Greenkit, Green Sak, Organic Fred, The Planet Bag, Reusablecanvasbags.com, See2Sea Sourcing, Smart Sac, Texas Earth Bag, and The Abe Lincoln Story. Local sponsors include: Sam’s Club, Total Sports, West Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, A Plus Sign, Company Printing, Albertsons LLC, West Texas Broadcasting, and the San Angelo Standard Times. Special thanks go out to volunteers from the Concho Holistic Association, Keep San Angelo Beautiful, San Angelo Friends of the Environment, and Goodfellow Air Force Base.
Bagonaut.com features tips for conserving water, saving money on your electric bill, ways to effectively reduce your use of plastic bags, and much more. Bagonaut regularly travels and gives public talks on environmental issues. Updates on the ecological adventures of Bagonaut and BIGBAG1 can be found at http://www.bagonaut.com.
For further information contact:
San Angelo, Texas
# # #