Bag the Plastic.

The Marine Exploration Center is leading the fight and encouraging businesses and consumers to Bag the Plastic. 

Americans use more than 100 billion plastic bags each year, more than 300 bags per person per year. Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes yet a single plastic bag has a life expectancy of up to 1,000 years.

Marine wildlife often mistake plastic bags for food, especially sea turtles hunting jellyfish. In fact, high amounts of plastic material, especially plastic bags, have been found blocking the breathing passages and stomachs of many marine species, including whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, and turtles.

Our program aims to reduce marine tragedy by leading consumers and retailers to replace their disposable and deadly plastic bags with one of our marine and eco friendly reusable bags. 

Our sturdy reusable bags feature beautiful artwork by local artists who have partnered with us on this important project. 


100% of the profits from the purchase of our reusable bags benefit the Marine Exploration Center and its dedication to research and education surrounding our delicate marine habitats. 




Find a local retailer supporting the Bag the Plastic initiative:


Stop buying bags that cause nothing but harm and help us raise money to support the Marine Exploration Center of St. Pete. 

Bags are designed by local artists supporting our cause, enhance your customer experience and show you care while helping the delicate marine habitats surrounding our community. 

•  Bags issued on consignment

• Offered by your store at point of sale

• Your store promoted on our website and advertising material



Artists: call for entry

We’ve encouraging local retailers to reduce or cease the use of dangerous plastics and instead offer our custom designed reusable bags for sale at check out- reusable and beautiful of course with artwork by talent like you!


Artist call for entry:

Design specifications: size: 14” W x 14” H 


Based on demands for bags, we may select multiple artists. 

Artists selected will be made honorary sponsors of the MEC, be recognized on all promotional materials and at our annual fundraising gala.