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Build with Bags Grant Program
The primary goal of Build with BagsTM (BWB) is to tackle an environmental concern that has been receiving a great deal of attention – the use of plastic (and to some degree) shopping bags. To address this issue, the Build with Bags program has defined four primary goals:
  1. Reduce the consumption of plastic bags,
  2. Encourage the use of reusable bags,
  3. Increase the amount of plastic bags recycled, and
  4. Establish and a grant program to aid parks and schools in purchasing products made of recycled plastic bags.
This grant program was developed to support the BWB program’s primary goal of increasing plastic bag recycling, which we believe is at the core of addressing the environmental issues surrounding plastic bag use. This grant program was initiated to support “closing the plastic bag loop” by demonstrating how recycled plastic bags can be re-used in the manufacturing of outdoor furniture and equipment. Although there are a number of firms that provide recycled plastic content, furniture and equipment, the BWB program encourages grant recipients to use Iowa’s own Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls ( Please note that to be eligible for the grant program, the recycled content plastic furniture and equipment to be purchased must be used at a park or school.
To Apply for a Build with Bags Grant
Grant applications should be prepared in letter form based on the evaluation criteria listed here:

Selection Requirements
Each application must include the applicant organization’s contact information (address, phone number and email address) along with a designated contact name with contact information. All applications containing the required information will be evaluated by the Build with Bags selection committee according to the following selection criteria.
Evaluation Criteria
  • Statement of need (Maximum of 25 points): A clear statement of need identifying the importance and use of the furniture and/or playground equipment, along with financial need, is required. Please note that furniture or equipment subject to the grant award must be used in conjunction with a park or school. Maximum points will be awarded to those organizations with in-kind contributions or contributing funds.
  • Public Awareness (Maximum of 35 Points): Provide a brief summary of the marketing or public relations plan for maximizing public awareness of the project (newspaper, radio, TV coverage, speaking engagements, social media, etc.). The greater the perceived impact, the greater the number of points awarded. Copies of the BWB and sponsor logos will be provided to those receiving grants. Proof of performance will be required before grant payment is issued.
  • Verifiable Recycled Plastic Content (Maximum of 10 Points): Grant requests must include information on the recycled plastic content of the proposed furniture or equipment purchase, including a statement that at least some of the plastic content includes high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic. The higher the content of recycled plastic the greater the number of points awarded.
  • Plastic Bag Recycling (Maximum of 20 Points): Please include a statement indicating how the project will help to increase plastic bag recycling or decrease usage. The stronger the case for the project influencing reductions in use and increased recycling, the higher the points.
  • Endorsement Letter (Maximum of 10 Points): An endorsement letter from an Iowa Grocery Industry Association (IGIA) member in support of your request is required. The stronger the letter of support, the greater the points.
Application Submission
Submit completed applications by March 30 to:
Iowa Grocery Industry Association                      
Attn: Build with Bags Coordinator
2540 106th Street, Suite 102
Urbandale, Iowa 50322
Questions concerning the application process should be directed to IGIA’s Build with Bags coordinator at 515-270-2628 or email
Grant applications will be reviewed by the Build with Bags selection committee to determine eligibility and application score based on the selection criteria. Incomplete or insufficient applications will be returned along with an explanation concerning the nature of any missing or insufficient information.
The composite rating will be used to allocate grants from available funds. The selection committee will make a determination of award grant recipients and reserves the right to adjust the amount of a grant request based on available funds.
The remaining grant requests will be reviewed and weighted by the selection committee with each member of the committee independently evaluating the grants. The group will then meet collectively and share results with a final tabulation made from the composite ratings.
Geographic distribution will also be a consideration in determining award grant recipients.
Grant funds will be provided to award recipients subsequent to furniture/equipment purchases. To receive grant award funds, award recipients must submit proof of purchase documentation by December 31 of the year in which the grant is awarded. Items accepted as proof of purchase include:
  • A paid invoice;
  • A canceled check or similar verification of payment;
  • Photos of the funded project (email to:; and
  • Copies of media coverage and before and after photos of the project, events and/or furniture or equipment. This proof of performance will be required before grant payment is issued. 
Every effort will be made to distribute payment within two weeks of submission of all appropriate information. Checks will be sent to the supporting IGIA member business for presentation to Grant recipients. Grant recipients are encouraged to call the IGIA at 515.270.2628 with “media event” times in advance if possible. These events may provide an opportunity for the recipient, the supporting IGIA member, sponsoring organizations and the BWB program and its sponsors to gain recognition.
Iowa Grocery Industry Association –
Keep Iowa Beautiful –
Metro Waste Authority –
Iowa Department of Natural Resources –
Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls –