Daughter Of Plastic Bag Inventor Fights To Eliminate Disposables

When Kristen Brown helped her late father, Gordon Dancy, market his latest invention as a teenager, she thought she was helping to save the planet by eliminating resource-intensive paper bags.

She never imagined that as an adult, she’d be working to eliminate that same invention.

Dancy, as it turns out, invented and helped popularize the high-density plastic bag that now clutters the landfills and waterways of almost every major city in the world.

Today, Brown is a consultant for the US EPA, and has built a career around teaching cities how to reduce waste and eliminate unsightly litter–especially disposable plastic bags.

This October, Brown turned her efforts to the supermarket industry in the MY ECO School Reuse Challenge. It’s a collaborative challenge that pairs schools with local grocery stores to ignite behavior change from disposable plastic and paper bags towards reuse.

Brown says that if 100 families reuse their bags each week for one year, a school can prevent 100,000 disposable plastic bags from entering the waste stream.

The Challenge uses the MY ECO Shopping bag system, a 4-in-1 reusable bag system that Brown created after constantly forgetting to take her own bags into the store when shopping.

Students sell the bags as a fundraiser for their school, and their store partner rewards the families each time they use the system through a special bag code.

“Staring with the next generation of shoppers, we need to actively promote change from the bottom up,” say Brown. “In the next 5 years, it is our goal is to create partnerships between 4,000 stores and 10 million students.”

Teachers and kids can find information on how to register their school at www.getmyeco.com.

Image Credit: getmyeco.com


William C
William C3 months ago


W. C
W. C3 months ago

Thank you.

Fiona T.
Past Member 5 years ago

We should join force

Jo Asprec
Jo Asprec6 years ago

Reuse! Recycle! I always bring my own bag to market. Thanks for the reminder. Bravo Ms. Brown!

Jo Asprec
Jo Asprec6 years ago

Reuse! Recycleg. I always bring my own bag to market. Thanks for the reminder.

Colleen Maranda
Colleen B6 years ago

In my part of the world, only a few small, responsible retailers dispense bio-degradable plastic bags. Local government doesn't respect these retailers by mandating the same responsible practice on all the other retailers in their region.

In India, the offensive plastic bags are collected and turned into beautiful new products by at least one female entrepreneur. By contrast, our unsustainable level of waste and damaging pollution is just one aspect of the cruel and unhealthy side of industrialised living / mass production.

So many have been led so far astray. Instead of true leaders, we're generally stuck with marionettes who blindly follow the failed rules of "modern economy". Join AVAAZ today.

Charles B.
Charles B6 years ago

Thank you Beth.

Celine V.
Celine V6 years ago

interesting comments!
TY Beth!

Joy Dantine
Joy Dantine7 years ago

...in both vehicles. I shop enroute to a location and only purchase a few items. I request no bag. Also, our store has an inhouse open-top bin which allows other's (at their own discretion) use.

Sylvia W.
Sylvia Willis7 years ago

I don't understand the question. Do I forget my plastics bags? Yes - in the sense that I usually use my cloth bags and so dont think about them. Are you asking if I forget to resuse plastic bags? Still nonsensical because I do my best to not get them in the first place.