The Better Bag Challenge

Plastic trash is choking our ocean, and 80% of it comes from land. We can do better!

The challenge: promise not take any disposable plastic bags for a whole year. Take a better bag instead!

Fill out this form to take the Better Bag Challenge, and commit to use reusable bags instead of disposable for a whole year.

Organizing the Challenge

Ask people at your World Oceans Day event or celebration to join the movement: Starting June 8th, help the ocean by avoiding disposable plastic bags for at least one year.

Step 1: make the ask

Ask people at your event to be part of the solution:

To help our ocean and its animals, people around the world are promising to stop using disposable plastic bags. Will you join us?

Research by The Ocean Project and others tells us that the public already accepts the fact that plastic trash is a problem for our ocean, and that they want to help – expecting and appreciating ideas from trusted sources like aquariums, zoos and museums as to how they can do so.

Market research also suggests that you try:

If people say they already have stopped using disposable bags, thank them for their leadership, encourage them to still sign the challenge, share with friends, and take some of the additional steps suggested further below.

If possible, ask people to sign up with their email address so we can work with you to count them as one of the Challengers, and follow up later in the year.

Have people use the form at the bottom of this page to sign up. If you collect sign ups on paper, please let us know later how many people took the Challenge.

Step 2: help them share their commitment

As part of your “thank you” please encourage people to share their commitment then and there on social media with the hashtag #BetterBagChallenge.

Research tells us that there is no time like the present! People will be much more likely to share their commitment at the moment they make it, especially if is encouraged with some simple prompts. If you are doing an in-person event, consider having a selfie station, with placards or props where people can take and share pictures with simple, positive, inspirational statements such as “Today I promised to help save sea turtles.”

Research also tells that one of the main reasons people take action on issues like this is that it makes them feel good about themselves, and is something that they will want to share with others. Providing opportunities that make it easy and acceptable for them to share on the spot is something they are likely to appreciate.

If you have people sign up with their email address, we also can send out an email thank you, providing another opportunity for them to share their commitment, and go to the next level!

Step 3: encourage them to go to the next level

Once people sign on for the Challenge – especially if they say they already are avoiding plastic bags – encourage them to reduce the use of disposable plastics in other areas of their lives. Here are just a few ways they can help. These are great “add ons” if hosting an event, and are ideas we also can reinforce when sending email thank you’s.

If you or your organization is already taking on or more of these steps, even if just trying to do so but not yet succeeding, that can be a real opportunity to deepen the engagement, and also helps people see that one step, while important, will not be enough.

Please know that we also plan to send all those who sign up with their email a short follow up with a simple survey that can help us check in on how they’re doing on their Challenge, and also give us good data on how they felt about being asked to take action!

Activities, event ideas, and downloads

As you encourage people to take the Challenge, it can be helpful to do activities with them to show how much of an impact they can make.

Downloads and tools

Click here to download images to use on social media and flyers!

Additional Tools:

Get more resources

Visit these sites for more information on the problem of plastic pollution, and for more ways to take action.

Image credits

There are a variety of Shutterstock and Creative Commons licensed images on this page and in the the toolkit. Thank you to those who provide their images for free with credit: David Patte of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Keenan Adams for USFW Southeast, Willy Volk, Philippe Guillaume, and Chris Combe. Thank you!