Guest Commentary: Tea Krulos – BAG MONSTER INVADES MIDWEST

Posted by — September 2, 2010 6:28 pm
Bag Monster tracked, tagged and released

Andy Keller hopes his creation, the Bag Monster, will be kicked out of the midwest. The “monster” is Keller dressed up in a costume that has a pelt made of 500 single use plastic bags. That number is the amount of bags an average American uses annually. Keller is currently making coast to coast appearances as the Bag Monster and has 72 extra costumes on hand so people can embrace their inner monster.

“Typically, bag monsters hide under the kitchen sink, they hide in the pantry, and they travel underground in storm drains, so this is a rare occasion to see them in all their glory.” Keller says.

A “bag monster nest” display of 45,000 bags- the average amount an American uses in a lifetime- is also part of the show.

“For people that see the exhibit, the common reaction is shock- they say oh my god, I had no idea that is what I use in a lifetime.” Keller says, “And that is the goal of the tour, to raise awareness and visually show people.”

Keller’s inspiration for becoming an anti-bag activist came from a visit to the landfill in his hometown of Chico, California six years ago.

“What really stood out were all of the plastic bags surrounding me and it hit me emotionally, how much we throw out every single day, and this just my small town of 100,000 people. I made a decision that day to stop using plastic bags and I set out on a mission to help the world kick the single use bag habit.”

The Bag Monster idea hatched after he found reaction to his first effort- a giant ball of 500 bags- to be indifferent.

“I found that when I put it on myself and ran around with it, people would laugh and interact with me more and that is where I got the idea for creating Bag Monster.”

Keller found California to be “hostile toward bag monsters.” San Francisco is the first city to ban plastic bags and a state wide ban in grocery and liquor stores and pharmacies is being developed. In reaction to this, Keller explains, the Bag Monster hit the road looking for a new home.

“Here- why don’t you talk to Bag Monster,” Keller says by phone. A different Cookie Monster like voice takes over the conversation.

“I’m shopping around for a new home, and find the city that is most hospitable and that is where I am going to set up shop.” The voice growls, “Chicago says it wants to be the greenest city- I don’t think so. I don’t believe it, so I’m going to check it out and see for myself.” The plastic loving creature went on to explain some possible perks for calling Chicago home.

“It’s the windy city, and bag monsters love the wind. I see a lot of my friends hanging out in your trees and I want to join them. It’s a big party out there, I hear. Lake Michigan- big piece of water, I love the water- I don’t know if you have sea turtles there, but if you do it definitely bodes well for you guys.”

Keller says if Illinois doesn’t embrace the bag monster, he will head east to Pittsburgh.

You can follow the Bag Monster travels, see video, and take a “stop the Bag Monster” pledge at

Tea Krulos is a professional writer and can be reached at:

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