Home > News > A boost for better bags

More News

 
internship communication spca

Internship helps animals

As an intern, 2021 communication graduate Regina Donato gained valuable experience while helping the Delaware SPCA "make a name for ourselves on social media," the organization says.
 
fulbright student award 2021

Fulbright winner

Kathrin Reed, a doctoral student in political science and international relations, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award, which she will use to conduct field research in Cambodia.
 
CONNECT
Make a GiftYouTubeEMailTwitter

A boost for better bags

Image Picker for Section 0
Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Fashion students design eco-friendly alternatives to plastic

Students hold a reusable bag

Fashion design graduate students Stephanie Joseph (left) and Danielle Civil (center) show off the bag they designed for marine studies students, including senior Ashley Barnett (right), hoping to reduce plastic bag use.

Each year in the United States, 12 million barrels of oil are used to make 380 billion single-use plastic shopping bags. On average, these bags are used for 12 minutes, but they take 500 years to break down.

Students in the University of Delaware masters seminar called Debating Marine Conservation this fall discovered single-use plastic bags are a local problem as well. Plastic bags are the second most common beach litter in Delaware (after cigarette butts). In a survey that the students conducted in Lewes, Delaware, two-thirds of people said they sometimes or always take plastic bags when shopping, but only 38 percent return them to large retailers for recycling.

In addition to being unsightly, the plastic bags can kill marine life that mistake them for food or get entangled in them, and students initially wanted to advocate for a ban on businesses giving the bags out at all, as has been done in places around the country, most recently in Boston. As they surveyed the Lewes community, the students realized that it wouldnt be practical to start with a ban, and they adapted their approach to something that ended up generating a great deal of interest when the students presented their ideas to Lewes community members who attended a presentation at UDs Hugh R. Sharp campus in Lewes on Dec. 7.

Students proposed a coalition called Business for Better Bags.

We live in Lewes. Were members of the community. We shop in your stores, and we really care about the future of this town, graduate student Emily Ruhl said to business owners at the presentation, which she conducted with fellow student Paul Leingang. We need your help. What we are proposing is to form a voluntary coalition of businesses in downtown Lewes who are committed to reducing their plastic bag usage.

Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor of marine science and policy in UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, taught the masters level course at the Lewes campus.

By committing to move along a continuum from a bag with every purchase to no bags at all, business owners could join such a coalition, which the students proposed calling Businesses for Better Bags, or B3. For some businesses, it might mean only providing bags when customers buy a certain number of items, while others could choose to ask every customer whether they want a bag or not. And for everyone, the goal would be to change behavior and end up giving out as few plastic bags as possible.

Business owner Jen Mason of Biblion Used Books & Rare Finds was initially resistant to the idea, pointing out plastic bags serve a real purpose in protecting her customers purchases on rainy days. But she always asks customers if they need a bag, sells Biblion reusable bags, and would like to see Lewes make progress in reducing plastic bag use. She was happy to hear that the students listened to concerns she and other business owners expressed.

Most of us want to see something like this, Mason said. It could be powerful and a positive idea for our town.

The students research seemed to bear that out: 62 percent of survey respondents said they would be more likely to shop at stores working to reduce plastic bag use. Students in the class thought there might also be value for B3 businesses if they all had a reusable bag to sell that promoted the town and catered to Lewes pride.

The Marine Studies students shared their survey results and talked about the potential for a branded reusable bag with students in UDs Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, which is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The fashion students were taking a class called Interdisciplinary Approaches to Creative Problem Solving, and they embraced the chance to work on a real-world project.

My students are very interested in sustainability and social responsibility, Professor Belinda Orzada said. All semester weve been looking at different critical issues within the industry, with environmental sustainability being one of those.

Her students created four possible reusable bags that Lewes businesses could sell, offering options ranging from shopping bags made of a eucalyptus-based fabric that would decompose after six months to a canvas bag that converts to a backpack and features an outline of the state with the word Lewes written along the western edge and a star on the town.

A lively question-and-answer session following the presentation included questions around practicality, cost and the potential for voluntary success in Lewes to lead to bigger successes against plastic bags statewide, where attempts to ban them have failed in past years.

Michael Alushin, a member of the green team at St. Peters Episcopal Church in downtown Lewes, whose perspective the students had enlisted early on in their project, said that his group will work to move the idea forward, possibly raising money to help pay for an initial order of reusable bags. And while he was excited about the projects potential to impact sustainability in Lewes, Alushin was most impressed by how well the students engaged the community, adapted their thinking and communicated both their research findings and their ideas for action.

Its important for scientists to learn to communicate with the public, Alushin said. We as a society need our scientists to help us inform public policy and be active citizens.

Dixson said the point of the Debating Marine Conservation course is to teach students how to communicate science to the public in a succinct and understandable way. Adding a project-based learning component this semester, Dixson said, allowed the students to go beyond talking and do something.

For Ashley Barnett, a senior from Bear, Delaware, and the lone undergraduate in the class, the opportunity to take action was a big motivation to take the class. Like those at the presentation hoping a successful Lewes project could inspire change statewide, Barnett is excited for the possibility and thinking about how to do her part.

Im taking this as my responsibility, to take this back to Newark, in my personal actions. Its important to start small and grow larger, she said. This town is so eco-friendly. This is a good town to get started in. There is a lot of promise in Lewes.

Article by Mark Jolly-Van Bodegraven; photo by Michael Graw

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
News Story Supporting Images and Text
Used in the Home Page News Listing and for the News Rollup Page
Fashion design students joined with those in marine science and policy to come up with some attractive alternatives to single-use plastic shopping bags.
1/9/2018
No
Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
reducing plastic bag use
No
 
 
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization
A boost for better bags