Bag Snagging Program

For years, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) has advocated for the citywide use of the Bag Snagger, a clever device that easily and inexpensively removes plastic shopping bags and other debris from trees. NYRP staff members remove an estimated 1,500 plastic bags annually from our city’s vulnerable and defenseless green neighbors and we are always looking for “budding” bag snaggers to join our ranks to help protect our city’s trees from these unwanted, foreign, filmy invaders. Based on a patented design by jeweler Tim McClelland, the Bag Snagger's fiberglass pole telescopes with extensions to a total length of 40 feet. The innovative pruning hook on the end allows users to pull or cut bags and other debris from trees with a twist of the pole.

Since 1998, NYRP work crews traveling the city from worksite to worksite have carried and used their Bag Snaggers whenever and wherever tree trash is sited – even responding to public requests for assistance. NYRP’s bag snagging efforts are limited to the period from November to March, when trees are not leafed out and trash is most visible among branches. During this time, three dedicated NYRP crews go out twice a week for approximately 20 weeks to snag bags and other trash from trees located throughout the city’s five boroughs. Once spring arrives, these crews ramp down and ultimately suspend their snagging efforts – using extreme caution to protect the delicate emerging leaves and new limbs of awakening trees – and we strongly encourage all snaggers to do the same!

Even NYRP Founder Bette Midler is a proud bag snagger, carrying her specially designed snagger – a unique graphite version commissioned for her by her husband on the occasion of her 50th birthday – in the trunk of her hybrid car and often stopping to remove fly-away bags and trash from city trees.

  Click here to learn more about Bag Snaggers and how to get your own!