My name is Kira, and I am an executive committee member of the Suncoast Rise Above Plastics Coalition. We have written a grant to fund a local district in a month-long effort to avoid plastic bags, and we’ve selected the Grand Central District. Participating businesses will receive a free months supply of recycled paper bags and get PR through the initiative. Would you like to participate?

The Suncoast Rise Above Plastics Coalition is a multi-organization collaboration with the shared goal of protecting our marine environment and our infrastructure by decreasing our region’s use of disposable plastics. We do this in three ways:
• By educating consumers on how to use less plastic in their daily lives (by bringing their own bags, declining straws when they order drinks, and making better-informed purchasing decisions)
• By recruiting Ocean Friendly Businesses, who show their willingness to Protect What We Love by eliminating plastic bags, straws, and cup lids and styrofoam take-out containers; recycling, and installing turtle-friendly lighting if they’re at a beach.
• By advocating for sustainable policy.
We want to celebrate businesses that go above and beyond to protect the ocean by adopting our ocean friendly business criteria ( We are looking for industry leaders along the gulf coast to step up, make impactful changes, and reap the benefits of increasingly eco-conscious consumers.

We recognize that making the switch isn’t always easy, so we’ve written a grant to fund the Grand Central Business district in a month-long effort to ditch plastic bags. Given the upcoming St. Pete City Council vote on plastic bags, we think this is a perfect time for businesses to jump in and try it for themselves. We’ll be promoting all businesses who participate through social media and email and encouraging our members to support them. We’ll also be collecting data throughout the month-long pilot program that will help other businesses implement similar policies.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in participating, how many bags you would like, and what size you would like (small or medium).


Kira Barrera