The Bags Campaign team are having a short rest.
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Discussions with Tesco
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:
Banchory bags Campaign would like to thank the following sponsors
BANCHORY & DISTRICT ROUND TABLE
SCOTTISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
PGL / SENERGY
KEEP SCOTLAND BEAUTIFUL
NORTH BANCHORY COMPANY
RAEBURN CHRISTIE CLARK AND WALLACE
For further information contact:
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