I want to reduce plastic bag waste in NYC!
Here is a downloadable copy of the Bag It NYC Retailer Endorsement Form.
Ask Retailers In Your Neighborhood!
How to canvass businesses to support plastic bag legislation
It's easy and fun and you can make traction in just an hour while feeling more connected to your neighborhood. You can go solo or pair up with a fellow activist in your neighborhood.
1. Download and print a few copies (say, 10 to 15) of the Retailer Endorsement Form.
2. Print out the Bill Outline and Facts Sheet for reference and if possible print a few extra in case retailers would like to keep a copy.
3. Bring a pen and some way of taking notes
4. Pick a block with lots of local businesses and start going door-to-door!
5. When you enter a business, say that you are asking businesses to sign a petition and ask if an owner or decision-maker is available to speak with you. (If they are clearly busy and there is a line of customers, skip them for now and come back later)
6. Once you are speaking with someone who wants to learn more about what you are doing, go into a brief pitch about what you are doing. For example: "I'm an activist in the neighborhood trying to advocate for a small fee on single use carryout bags to reduce bag waste in New York City. We are trying to gather signatures from local business owners to show our City Councilmembers that this is a business friendly proposal that benefits the community. Would you be willing to sign the petition?"
7. If they want to sign, let them!
a. If they seem curious and want to learn more, highlight some key points about the bill ("It's a $.10 fee per bag, and it's not a tax, meaning that the store owner keeps the fee. It is primarily targeting plastic bags but also applies to paper, since the intention is to encourage consumers to bring their own reusable bags whenever possible. Customers on food stamps are exempt."). If they still aren't sure leave them with a copy of the form and point them to our website (bagitnyc.org) for more information. Make a note to follow-up.
b. If they are opposed to the issue don't try to persuade them. Thank them for their time and move on.
c. If they are very supportive and perhaps already taking steps to eliminate bags in their store, ask them if they would like to become more involved in supporting the bill, if they are, tell them someone will follow up with them later (email their name, business, location and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org). Some options to be more involved might be speaking at a retailer press conference, being featured on our website and/or social media, speaking to the press, etc.
8. Keep notes on which stores you visited, which stores you successfully made contact with and the results, and where and when you need to follow-up.
9. When you're all done, enter the endorsements you gathered on the online form: http://bagitnyc.org/retailer/