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Plastic ain't my bag

Are the days of the plastic bag numbered?

Environmentalists across the globe hope so and they make a powerful argument.

  • 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. That's 1 million a minute.
  • The average UK consumer gets through more than 160 every year
  • Just one plastic bag in every 200 given out is recycled
  • The average lifespan of a plastic bag is 500 years and six days
  • Our average individual 'plastic bag legacy' is 4.175 million years

Less is definitely more when it comes to preserving our fast-depleting planetary resources, especially when there are so many more appealing alternatives to transport your precious purchases home in.

Can St Albans become a Green Bag Zone?

Local campaigners have joined forces to try and persuade us all to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags that we use. The St Albans Green Party and the St Albans Campaign Against Plastic are inviting retailers to

  • make their own 'bags for life' available, either free or at a discounted price
  • switch to an alternative type of bag (paper, recycled, biodegradable)
  • ask customers if they need a bag

Participating shopkeepers and market traders are displaying a 'Green Bag Zone' card to promote the scheme. On a practical level, retailers have been given a list of suppliers that offer greener alternatives to plastic bags and the council has given away over 1,500 cotton bags.

We shoppers in St Albans can make a big difference by remembering to grab a reusable bag before leaving home, or by keeping a small convertible bag in our pockets and declining plastic bags wherever possible.

Help is at hand from those lovely people at We Are What We Do who have top tips for declining bags whenever possible, fantastic downloadable resources and a retailer's toolkit of postcards, posters, window stickers and shelf wobblers (they sound like fun).

Want to get involved?

To support this local campaign visit or email [email protected].

'Bags for life' and pocket-sized convertible shopping bags are available from many retailers including Onya Bags, who have a great range of colourful designs, including shoulder bags and backpacks.

Dog walkers – why not scoop your pup's poop into a biodegradable bag? Or, better still, do something else with it.

Why bother?

Small actions x lots of people = big change

 “If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito” (Anita Roddick)