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SHAKE THE HABIT of Plastic Bags

Earth Month

Dr. Kevin Kearns
Vice President
Engagement and Economic Development
701 Maytum Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
Ph: (716) 673-3758

Shake the Habit
FACE Center Logo

To commemorate EARTH DAY, SUNY Fredonia is asking ALL area retailers to go one full day -- Mon., April 22 -- without using plastic bags.

All participating retailers will receive signage from SUNY Fredonia indicating they are a partner in this cause to use in their stores. In addition, send us a logo to post on this site, and feel free to link to this site from your own. In addition, we offer student and faculty support to discuss options and/or barriers that might appear to prevent a business from participating. On-site volunteers may also be available on April 22 as well, if requested with enough advance notice.

SUNY Fredonia is among Western New York's leaders in environmental conservation and carbon footprint reduction. Our university has implemented numerous changes over the last few years which have led to major resource and cost savings, as well as waste reduction, both on campus and in the community. Our mission is to integrate sustainability into all aspects of campus life.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER as a participating retailer!

*COMING SOON* See a list of all Participating Retailers.



There is simply zero justification for manufacturing [plastic bags] any more, anywhere.”

– Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environmental Program 

"Trash is one of the most widespread pollution problems threatening our ocean and waterways -- yet it's entirely preventable. Wherever we live we are all connected to the ocean. It drives and moderates our climate. It helps provide the water we drink and much of the oxygen we breathe. It directly feeds millions of people. Trash doesn't fall from the sky, it falls from our hands, and what falls from human hands can be prevented."

- Barbara Cohen, NYS Beach Cleanup Coordinator,
American Littoral Society

"Mixed Recycling - Seattle, 2004" by Chris Jordan

"eBank - Tacoma 04" by Chris Jordan

This is especially true for the Dunkirk-Fredonia region, given our proximity to Lake Erie.

During the one-day 2009 International Coastal Cleanup, nearly 10,000 volunteers collected 134,530 lbs. of trash along over 300 miles of New York State shoreline; Plastic bags were the 4th worst offender (with 25,309 bags collected). When they become part of our litter, rain and wind carry them into our waterways, which eventually flow into our oceans. Within each square mile of ocean, there is an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic. Oceanic currents carry this debris into gyre’s, such as that in the North Pacific, which has become known as the "North Pacific Garbage Patch," due to its abundance of plastic and other materials. It is estimated to encompass an area twice the size of Texas and contain over 100 million tons of debris resulting in 46 times more plastic particles than plankton per unit volume. The proliferation of plastic waste endangers fish, turtles, birds and other wildlife as they become entangled in the bags or, more often, mistake the debris for food. Once eaten, plastic bags and particles cannot be processed and block the digestive track, making it very difficult for the animal to receive proper nutrition and generally leading to a slow and painful death from starvation and dehydration. Approximately one billion seabirds and mammals die each year by ingesting plastic.

by Chris Jordan

Shake The Habit” raises the awareness of this issue and the need to change our daily habits, and educates consumers that something as simple as a change to reusable bags can have a massive global impact. Each one of us is part of the problem, but we can also be part of the solution.


Photos used courtesy of Chris Jordan.
The photo of the albatross chick is taken from one of his latest collections entitled,
Midway: Message from the Gyre.

Page modified 12/7/15