BbC Banchory bags Campaign

Shoppers at the Farmers Market with Reusable Shopping Bags (C Brown)Latest News

May 2012

The Bags Campaign team are having a short rest.

If you would like to help revive the campaign contact



Discussions with Tesco

On September 7, 2010,  the Banchory bags Campaign [BbC] co-ordinator, Christina Brown, had a meeting with Tesco's Corporate Affairs Manager for the Aberdeenshire Area, Douglas Wilson.  They had a lengthy chat about Tesco's policies relating to single-use plastic bags.  It was agreed that everything that could be done to limit their use should be done when the new Tesco Store in Banchory opens in late November.
Christina Brown understood that Tesco agreed that
  1. Single use plastic bags would always be kept out of sight.
  2. Check-out operators would leave it up to customers to ask for a bag.  [i.e. They would not ask if customers need a bag.]
  3. If a customer requests a single use bag, operators would ask if they would like to buy a reusable bag, with various types readily available on the counter.
  4. At the end of each counter there would be a display of various reusable bags.
  5. Customers would be allocated 'Green Clubcard points' for using their own bags.
  6. All the above would be a permanent part of the training programme.
  7. Banchory bags Campaign could be in the store talking with customers at the Opening - November 22 was mentioned.
  8. There would be a special promotion of reusable bags for several weeks after the Opening.  BbC would prefer longer lasting bags to be promoted, rather than the Bag For Life.  Similar promotions could be held from time to time.
  9. Tesco's support for the Banchory bags Campaign would be clearly displayed on the Community Notice Board.
  10. Support for the campaign would be indicated in the leaflet to be sent to Banchory residents.
  11. 'Remember Your Bags' signs would be placed at the end of each trolley park, rather than on the sides.
  12. A count of how many single use bags are saved would be made available to BbC if requested.
  13. The Community Officer would be available to come to meetings, if requested.  Some funding to go towards the BbC initiatives would be available on a regular basis.

The BbC has written to Tesco, asking for confirmation of the above and should receive a reply within a few weeks.

Litter Around the Academy

Currently, the BbC team, together with local councillors, teachers and the Aberdeenshire Council representatives are working on tackling the problem of litter dropped in the vicinity of the Academy.  At a recent Parent/Teacher evening, parents and children were shocked by a display of the litter collected on a daily basis although it was noted that plastic bags represented only a minority of the litter collected.

Why Bbc? – A short history

For some time a group of Banchory residents had been concerned about the litter caused by plastic carrier bags and the damage they cause to the environment. In January 2008 they formed the Banchory bags Campaign [BbC] with the aim of encouraging the Banchory community to change from using plastic carrier bags to using reusable bags in their daily business.

The “Banchory bags Campaign” (BbC) group, formed under the umbrella of Banchory & District Initiative Limited (BDI), believe that, although it may be only a small step towards helping our environment, removing plastic bags from the local shopping scene is a step that we can all take. BbC enlisted the help of local schools and obtained the support of the largest local supermarket, Somerfield, and also of the Co-op.  BbC  conducted surveys of Banchory shoppers and traders to establish the level of support and aimed for Banchory to be plastic bag free starting in mid June 2008 – at St. Ternan’s Fair.

Bookmarks setting out 'Hints' to help shoppers to say, 'No Thanks' to plastic bags and listing a few facts about plastic were given out together with free reusable shopping bags.

Christina Brown, the convener of the campaign group said, ''It is up to the shoppers in Banchory to make this work.  There has been a lot of discussion in the media about how to reduce the use of plastic bags and the litter they make. Some people think the government should be doing more, or that supermarkets should take the initiative. It is easy to forget that plastic bags are only a problem because people insist on using them.  Just one cloth bag can replace at least 1000 plastic bags over its lifetime. It would be easy to make a big difference in Banchory.''

Sue Edwards, Chair of BDI said, '' BDI totally supports the campaign to reduce the amount of plastic used in Banchory.  It not only helps the local environment, but definitely raises the profile in Banchory concerning the major environmental issues that the UK and the rest of the world face and what we need to do about them.  We are delighted that the group came to BDI for support and we will help them in every way possible, including handling their finances and advertising the project on BDI's community website and in our newsletters.''

BbC believes that the campaign has reduced the numbers of single-use plastic carrier bags given away in the town and, if you walk around Banchory, you will definitely notice more and more people carrying their own reusable bags.  You will also hear shop assistants  asking customers if they need a bag, and shoppers replying;  'No thank you.  I have my own'.

Why use recyclable bags?

Currently, the world uses over 1.2 trillion bags per annum and Somerfield (now Morrisons) in Banchory alone estimates that it gives away in excess of 2 million plastic carrier bags every year.  Eventually some of these end up in landfill sites. Others get blown in the wind and get caught in trees and fencing and look unsightly.

Plastics are unsustainable in the long run as they are an oil based product. They last for centuries.  They pollute the countryside and the oceans of the world where plastic bag litter is lethal, killing at least 100,000 animals every year.  (Birds, whales, dolphins, turtles, fish, etc mistake tiny pieces of plastic for jellyfish and plankton.)  When the animals die, the plastic in their stomachs is released back into the environment time and time again.

In June 2007, Modbury, a town in Devon, was the first town in the UK to go plastic bag free and, since then, over 80 towns, including Selkirk and North Berwick, are planning to follow.   If the BbC's aims succeed, Banchory could be the first 'town' in North East Scotland to become plastic bag free.  Several countries have decided to ban or discourage the use of plastic bags including: Australia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, Taiwan, Mumbai, France, West Bengal, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Switzerland, Rwanda, Denmark, Germany, South Africa, California, Somalia, Botswana, Philippines, New Zealand, AND NOW CHINA!

National Plastic Bag Free Day – Saturday 12th September 2009

The Banchory Bag Campaign joined over 80 groups around the country in support of a National Plastic Bag Free Day on Saturday 12th September.  Volunteers on the High Street promoted the message to use your own bag and Aberdeenshire Council Waste Promotions team was also be on hand to offer advice on reducing waste and giving away reusable bags.  The Banchory Co-operative Store also actively supported the day and gave away their own reusable bags.  Local politicians and councillors were also happy to join the BbC team and talk with passing shoppers about environmental problems.

Sir Robert Smith said, “Congratulations to the Banchory Bags Campaign on the effort they have put into getting the environmental message across.  There was a very good response to the stall on the High Street on Saturday.  It emphasises how we can all take our own individual actions to help the environment.”

Mike Rumbles commented, “I have been really impressed by the way the people of Banchory have taken on board the bags for life campaign. It is a win-win for everyone and the environment.”

It was heartening to find so many Banchory residents appreciated and supported the work that the BbC team have done over the last 18 months.

Campaign Members and Sponsors

Those involved in the campaign were:

Christina Brown
Sharon Abbott
Fiona Hope
Mark Hope
Cllr.Karen Clark
Sheila Hargraves
Paul Herrington
Roz Scott
Ann Verney

Banchory bags Campaign would like to thank the following sponsors

For further information contact:


What next?

We are interested in your opinion – if you live locally please email us with your ideas on what the Bbc should be doing.   Email us at