Working towards a plastic bag free UK

Filed in Blog by on September 15, 2009 7 Comments
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have you ditched the plastic carrier bag?

have you ditched the plastic carrier bag?

I’ve been talking to Tony Langham, founder of ‘SCRAP‘ (Salisbury city residents action on packaging).

On International Plastic bag free day he and his friends gave away over 400 cotton bags to local residents.

His local Tory MP was there too, to  offer support and hand out bags to local shoppers!

International plastic bag free day was supported by Marks & Spencer, Waterstones, Waste Free World, Friends of the Earth, UnLtd, the Marine Conservation and Co-op shops in the UK.

Tony has been involved with plastic bags, loggerhead turtles and dolphins in turkey and elsewhere around the Mediterranean Basin for 10 years.  He travels to South India every year and is hoping to launch a ‘let’s be plastic bag free’ campaign over there too. If you have any information about what other countries are doing about plastic bags, please leave a comment below.

There are many  groups working on the plastic bag free issue such as abolish plastic bags. Tony’s vision is to bring the various plastic bag free sites together to have a strong, coherent and factual voice. One which will be accepted as an authority on Plastic bag free for the UK.

Find out what other communities have been doing to ban the plastic bag at Waste Free world, Transition towns UK and  transition US.

What about you? I know many of you take your own reusable bags to the shops, but have you thought about taking things further and trying to create a plastic bag free community?


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. LJayne says:

    I think they should be banned. Supermarkets are only supposed to be handing them out these days if you ask and they shouldn’t be on the end of checkouts. But they are. It is just too tempting, when busy, for the cashier to put a load down ready. If they just weren’t there then it wouldn’t be possible.

    I need to tackle my butcher about whether he would put my meat straight into my own containers. Otherwise there isn’t much point switching to him from the supermarket at the moment because I’d just be swapping one set of plastic wrapping for another.

  2. Mrs Green says:

    @LJayne: Hi Lesley, I don’t see why they can’t be banned either. If you think about it, it was only relatively recently that disposable plastic carrier bags had not been invented. You wouldn’t consider going to the shop without your basket or bag.
    You may find that the butcher uses much LESS packaging, even if they wont’ let you use your own containers. Ours sell chickens in a simple polythene bag, whereas in a supermarket they are on a polystyrene tray with a a bit of squidgy stuff AND shrink wrapped.
    Let us know if you are able to use your own containers though!

  3. sandy says:

    my one pet hate / project to be rid off

  4. sandy says:

    Hi Mrs Green
    My local butcher delivers to us and we use our own containers, as does the green grocer who delivers from the farm 6 miles away, and the baker from 5 miles away , the rest we have to drive 17 miles but it is worth it to shop at the quarry shop (part of the centre of alternative technology) they let me have coffee beans in a paper bag. the cheese man in the market has yet to be persuaded to let us bring our own packaging, but we are working on him, I really do think we are lucky to live were we do.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @sandy: Hi Sandy, how lovely that you have all these delivery services; it sounds very community based. I agree – you’re lucky to live where you do and it’s fantastic you recognise that 🙂

  6. Lucy says:

    I’ve noticed retailers are less enthusiatic to offer you these days. Maybe the lack of visible results is making people sceptical about the benefits

  7. Mrs Green says:

    It’s good to see this happening, Lucy. I notice the cashiers in our local store pick up a handful of bags, show them to you and ask ‘do you need bags?’ – so they are half way there 😀

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