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'Day Without a Bag' event promotes 'Green' Christmas

December 15, 2010 |  7:37 am

Holiday shoppers in L.A. County are being asked to shun paper and plastic Thursday during the fourth-annual "Day Without a Bag," when “Green Santas” and their elves will be giving away free reusable totes.

Volunteers will hand out 25,000 reusable bags at nearly 200 locations throughout the county during the event, sponsored by a coalition of retailers, local government and environmental groups.

Organizers say county residents use more than 6 billion disposable plastic shopping bags each year. California municipalities spend nearly $25 million annually just to collect and dispose of plastic bag waste.

Less than 5% of the disposable bags are recycled each year in Los Angeles. The rest clog up landfills, litter public places and harm animals when they infiltrate the waterways.

“This year we have more than tripled the number of bag-giveaway sites,” said Mark Gold, president of the Heal the Bay environmental group, in a statement. “It reflects the growing groundswell in Los Angeles for reusable bags, which not only save the environment but taxpayer dollars as well.”

Event sponsors EarthWise Bag Co. and Albertsons will hold in-store promotions. Other participants include Ralphs, Vons, 99 Cents Only Stores, Subaru, Union Bank and Fred Segal Santa Monica.

Free bags also will be distributed at L.A. County public libraries and other sites.

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-- Ching-Ching Ni

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