Meet the Bag MonsterTM

Single-use bags are easy to spoof since they're such a bad idea, so ChicoBag invented the Bag Monster. ChicoBag founder, Andy Keller, had been using a huge ball of 500 plastic bags to show people at the farmer's market how many plastic bags an average American uses yearly - and one day he decided to wear it. Thus was the spawning of the first Bag Monster (costume that is).

The Bag Monster is a costume worn by your volunteer to visually show the impact single-use plastic bags have on our environment. These flighty bags end up in trees, along roadsides and washed up on sea shores. Each costume is decked out with 500 plastic bags, the average amount an American uses in one year.

Want a Bag Monster at your event?

Bag Monster suits are the perfect satirical, educational tool for teachers, activists and anyone looking to educate their community about the importance of reuse. Contact bagmonster@chicobag.com to invite the Bag Monster to your event!

Visit the Bag Monster® blog to stay up to date on the reusable bag movement and related environmental news.

Social Responsibility

We understand there is always more we can do to help kick single use. That is why we have implemented a number of environmental and social programs designed to make our business cleaner and planet healthier. While we understand there is a long way to go to solving the environmental problems we all face, it is our belief that by taking it one step at a time, we will make a difference. If you have ideas on how we can improve upon our commitment, we invite you to contact us at takeaction@chicobag.com.

Download our 2018 Impact Report

Advocacy

We invite you to join the reusable bag movement! ChicoBag has made a commitment to help humanity bag the single-use habit. As part of that commitment, we support efforts around the country to implement policies that limit single-use bags and ultimately make the world a better, safer place. It takes more than reusable bags to put an end to Bag Monsters; it takes education, dedication and a commitment to the planet. Take action and contact advocacy@chicobag.com to start making a difference today.

The Issue with Plastic Pollution

Plastic Bag Lifespan = 12 Minutes

The average life of a plastic bag is just 12 minutes. Something made from a material designed to last for thousands of years is only used for mere minutes. (Source: 5 Gyres, Accessed April 2017)

8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year

The sun and waves break down most plastics into microparticles, which never truly biodegrade. The result is an estimated 5.25 trillion particles of “plastic smog” polluting our oceans worldwide. Eighty percent of that marine plastic pollution comes from land. Microplastics attract nasty pollutants like flame retardants and other industrial chemicals which make them up to one million times more toxic than the water around them. These pollutants can make their way up the food chain and ultimately end up on our plates. (Source: 5 Gyres, Accessed April 2017)

Threat to Marine Life

More than 1,200 species are impacted by plastic, through ingestion or entanglement, both of which can sicken or even kill them. Plastic wreaks havoc on a marine ecosystem dependent on phytoplankton, which produce 70% of the earth’s oxygen and sequester 40% of its carbon. (Source: 5 Gyres, Accessed April 2017)

Plastic Bags have hidden costs

The cleanup of plastic bags is costly. California spends $25 million annually to landfill discarded plastic bags and public agencies spend more than $500 million annually in litter cleanup. (Source: Surfrider Foundation, Accessed April 2017)

Animals are suffering

Fifty to eighty percent of dead sea turtles have ingested plastic. Plastic bags, which resemble jellyfish, are the most commonly found item in sea turtles’ stomachs. (Source: Surfrider Foundation, Accessed April 2017)

Worldwide, 82 of 144 examined bird species contained plastic debris in their stomachs; and in some cases, 80% of the population had consumed plastic. (Source: Surfrider Foundation, Accessed April 2017)

What is "Plastic Smog"?

A term coined by 5 Gyres, Plastic Smog refers to the particles of plastic pollution that have settled to the sea floor. In the ocean, ultraviolet light makes plastic brittle and wave action crushes it, breaking it down into microplastics - pieces smaller than a grain of rice. Check out the trailer for the documentary, “Smog of the Sea”, produced by Jack Johnson that is about 5 Gyres 2014 Expedition. (Source: 5 Gyres, Accessed April 2017)


10 Things You Can Do To Reduce Single Use Bag Waste

1. Set a good example by just saying “no” to a single-use bag when you’re at the store. Others in line will follow suit.

2. Wage a campaign in your town or city to end the distribution of single-use bags by encouraging legislators to implement a grocery bag fee. Contact advocacy@chicobag.com for more information and resources.

3. Talk to local community and environmental groups about the bag issue and find out if they want to get involved.

4. Encourage local retailers to start a smart bagging policy with these tips:

  • Offer a bag refund to customers who bring their own reusable bags
  • Place signs reminding people to bring their own reusable bags
  • Create a reusable bag drop off for others to use
  • Create an in-store bag recycling program
  • Sell reusable bags in their store

5. Create a petition asking your city to take on the single-use bag problem and create a healthy reusable bag habit. Circulate it at schools, universities, the library, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and anywhere else where you can connect with your neighbors.

6. Bring an extra reusable bag to the grocery store the next time you shop and give it away to a stranger who doesn’t have them. Ask them to “Pay it Forward” and give a reusable bag away the next time they shop.

7. Write a letter to the newspaper or local news station explaining the environmental problems with single-use paper and plastic bags. Here are some resources to help you come up with your talking points.

8. Start a ChicoBag fundraiser to raise money for your cause. It beats cookie dough and candy bars plus it educates the community on the importance of reuse. Learn more here.

9. Stage a Bag Monster sighting in your community. Contact bagmonster@chicobag.com to get things started.

10. Give your friends and family reusable bags as gifts for birthdays, graduation, housewarming parties, and special holidays.