Ditch the plastic bag | SummitDaily.com

Ditch the plastic bag

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Summit Daily/Caitlin RowA Safeway bag discarded in a parking lot. A ski-town contest to

SUMMIT COUNTY ” Summit residents and visitors can help the county kick the single-use plastic bag habit by using reusable shopping bags starting Sunday.

“Summit County has the potential to win this,” said Jennifer Santry, assistant director of High Country Conservation Center.

The grand prize for the challenge is $5,000 toward a solar panel installation donated by Alpine Bank.

The 2009 Colorado Association of Ski Towns Reusable Bag Challenge kicks off this weekend with sticker distribution at local supermarkets. The message of the ski-town contest is a personal challenge to each family, person and visitor to give up single-use plastic bags in favor of reusable multi-use bags, organizers say.

On Saturday, locals may visit the BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) booths at the City Market in Breckenridge, the City Market in Silverthorne, Wal-Mart in Frisco and Safeway in Frisco to pick up a “Got Bag?” reminder car decal.

High Country Conservation is hoping the decals will serve as a reminder for people to grab their reusable bags before they drive to a store.

“We’re hoping Target will still join,” Santry said.

On Sunday, the challenge begins to remember reusable bags every time one shops. Look for the Reusable Bag Challenge poster at participating stores.

Bags will be given away to residents who participate in Town Clean-Up Day in spring, said Santry. Each town has already donated $1,000 to this campaign, money that will go toward decals, bags, education and advertisements.

Attendees at the last CAST meeting, hosted by Mountain Village, voted to allocate $5,000 toward the production of a public service announcement. The PSA will highlight the social, economic and environmental costs of single-use shopping bags, and will provide BYOB challenge details. It will be available to all participating towns.

The 2009 Colorado Association of Ski Towns Reusable Bag Challenge ” originally conceived as a contest between Colorado ski towns ” recently confirmed participation with Park City, Utah, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, Idaho, Hailey, Idaho, and Ketchum, Idaho.

Summit County is set to compete with Telluride, Aspen, Mountain Village, Snowmass, Basalt, Steamboat Springs, Grand Lake, Granby, Winter Park, Fraser, Estes Park, Crested Butte, Vail, Avon, Eagle, Gypsum and Crested Butte.

The BYOB challenge will run through Sept. 1.

“Any store that gives away bags period can participate, Santry said. “You can tally them with your hand and have your employees keep count.”

For more information contact Santry at High Country Conservation Center, (970) 668-5703).

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.

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