Environmental group hopes to set Guinness record in Syracuse on Black Friday

Nov 24, 2017

Black Friday could turn into ‘Green Friday’ at Destiny USA today, if local environmental advocates have their way. 

The idea is to get more people in the habit of using reusable shopping bags, instead of the plastic bags that clog waterways and litter our landscape. So a local environmental group called Mainstream Green will try to give away 5100 reusable shopping bags today, and in the process, earn Syracuse a Guinness World Record title.

“It’s the most reusable shopping bags distributed in 24 hours. That’s the title we’re trying to win, said Dana Johnston, president of Mainstream Green. “Guinness is known for having lots of interesting titles, like the man with the widest tongue. This is a very positive title, it’s a step in the right direction for the environment.”

Along with Mainstream Green, Onondaga County’s Block Litter program is among sponsors helping distribute the bags. County legislator Mike Plochocki says it’s more than just Syracuse getting into the Guinness record books.

“If other municipalities or other malls were to jump to immediately try to break this and then another entity tried to break that record, etc. etc., frankly, that’s  exactly what we want,” said Plochocki. “This is more about starting something than having a final record.”

Johnston says if people start to get into the habit of using reusable bags, they can make a big difference.

“What we say to people and what we say on the tags they’ll be picking it up, is we’d really like you to keep it in your car,” said Johnston. “Keep it in your car. Then when you go home, unload it and put it back in your car. If you start to have a habit of keeping them in your car, you can start to use them.”

The giveaway starts at 9 a.m. on the lower level of the mall.