Tuesday, June 12, 2007

UK wide - Christmas plastic bag ban urged

Shoppers and retailers are being encouraged to join a campaign for the UK's first plastic bag-free Christmas. We Are What We Do, a not-for-profit group, says plastic bag carrying should be as unacceptable as wearing fur. Shops will display logos saying "Plastic Ain't My Bag" while consumers will be encouraged to use reusable, eco-friendly bags. The group was also the force behind designer Anya Hindmarch's sell-out "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" shopping bag.

Unfashionable Virgin Megastores, Dermalogica beauty salons and scores of small retailers have pledged their support for the Christmas campaign and the group hopes that the official campaign launch on Thursday will bring in more retailers.

The group aims to have a "Plastic Ain't My Bag" logo in "every window in every shop in every high street in the country by Christmas". Shops will be asked to not automatically give out plastic bags while shoppers will be asked not to take a bag unless they really need one and to reuse an old plastic bag or carry an eco-friendly shopping bag. A plastic bag takes up to 500 years to decay in landfill. There is an alternative. It's called a shopping bag We Are What We Do
Eugenie Harvey, co-founder of We Are What We Do, said: "Wouldn't it be great if carrying a plastic bag was as unfashionable as wearing fur this Christmas?

"There's no question that there's a heightened awareness about the environment. This campaign feeds into that and is one of the simple, practical things that everyone can do to improve the environment - every bag we take ends up in landfill and takes up to 500 years to decay. "Unless it's impractical or your purchase is embarrassing, ask yourself whether you really need a plastic bag." She added: "I hope people will go deeper still and buy food that does not have lots of packaging, shop locally and buy Fairtrade tea and coffee."

The group launched in 2004 alongside the publication of a book, Change the World for a Fiver, which lists simple tips for improving people's health, community and environment.
The first tip in the book suggests declining the use of plastic bags in shops.

Throw-away bags It says: "Every person in the country uses an average of 167 plastic bags every year. That's 10 billion bags all together. A plastic bag takes up to 500 years to decay in landfill. There is an alternative. It's called a shopping bag."

David Miliband, the environment secretary, told the BBC on Sunday that throw-away carrier bags would become a thing of the past within a few years. He said the government had no plans to introduce a plastic bag tax but was working with supermarkets to make sure more bags were reused or recycled.

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1 comment:

Sharkie said...

The Plastic Ain't My Bag is such a cute campaign. I kind of want a t-shirt with that logo on it!