Bags host a growing assortment of texts, symbols, and letters, each with their own histories. Recently, producers have printed plastic bags with labels encouraging consumers to recycle them.
In the example above, the bag on the left bears a well-known symbol with three chasing arrows and a number 2 in the center, the international logo that encourages consumers to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” There are also two other places where it says, “PLEASE RECYCLE THIS BAG” in large black font across the center of the bag. Lastly, there is a small plastic bag illustration with a double arrow in the center of the image and the words “RECYCLE PLASTIC BAGS” below it. As this example illustrates, bag makers and the corporations distributing bags at checkout counters now make significant efforts to absolve themselves of the blame for the havoc their products have created for the environment. By encouraging consumers to recycle, the bag makers place the responsibility on the consumer.