18 posts categorized "Region-Great Britain"

September 17, 2008

'Recycled' British plastic found dumped in India

Plastics & Rubber Weekly  09.10.08Prwlogo_4

Plastic packaging and bottles that consumers believe are going to local recycling plants are ending up buried in India, according to a UK news investigation.

[Reporter] Mark Jordan travelled to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and discovered wells of British-branded rubbish, estimated to be around 30 feet deep...Concerned locals told the investigation that there were at least ten such waste wells and that the pits also contained American waste.

Our Take: It’s an inconvenient truth that many items entering the recycling stream don’t get recycled. We’re seeing increasing evidence of recyclables getting burned or buried in landfills -- or shipped overseas. Recycling has its place in reducing waste -- but it’s no silver bullet (e.g., it doesn’t change consumption).

Want to learn more about why recycling doesn’t work for plastic bags? See our myth-busting article:Recycling Can Fix This, Right?

Link: 'Recycled' British plastic found dumped in India

March 05, 2008

Brown May Legislate Against Free Plastic Bags

guardian.co.uk 02.29.08Plasticbags_276

Prime Minister Gordon Brown today signalled that he will use the law to stop supermarkets giving away free plastic bags within the next 12 months. Supermarkets that do not voluntarily start charging customers for plastic bags are expected to be compelled to impose a levy of at least 5p a bag. Ministers could impose the new regime using amendments to the climate change bill, which is currently going through parliament. Brown made his pledge as
the Guardian revealed that government departments handed out nearly one million branded plastic bags themselves, mostly in connection with publicity campaigns.

Link: Brown may legislate against free plastic bags

January 16, 2008

Meet Environmental Superhero... Bagman!

icWales.co.uk 01.12.08

A rubbish superhero is aiming to banish plastic bags. The character, Bagman, has been created by environmental charity Sustainable Wales as part of a drive to rid Porthcawl of unnecessary carrier bags. It is the first step of a campaign called Banish Bridgend’s Plastic Bags, which hopes to stop shops across the area from giving them out.

Our Take: Might be goofy, but stunts like this are helping to raise awareness.

Link: Meet Environmental Superhero... Bagman!

July 25, 2007

London Councils Push for Plastic Bag Bans

Guardian Unlimited 07.13.07

London shops could be banned from handing out plastic bags under a new law intended to make the capital more environmentally friendly. Council leaders have suggested an outright ban on the bags, or the introduction of a 10p levy, in a bid to reduce the waste going into landfill. The measures, proposed by the capital's 33 councils in a new London local authorities bill, will be put before MPs in November.

Link: London Councils Push for Plastic Bag Bans

July 06, 2007

Plastic bag levy rises to 22 cents

Ireland.com 7.01.07

The plastic bag levy has increased to 22 cent today in a further bid to reduce littering.

The former minister for the environment Dick Roche announced the rise last February which comes after evidence suggested the initial impact of the tax in 2002 was beginning to weaken.

Statistics showed each shopper used 328 bags a year before its introduction compared to just 21 afterwards. However plastic bag usage rose to 30 bags per person during 2006. The levy is seen as one of the most successful anti-littering devices introduced in Ireland and was copied internationally.

It initially sparked a 90 per cent drop in the use of plastic bags.

The funds help finance local environmental projects such as recycling facilities.

Link: Plastic bag levy rises to 22 cents

June 29, 2007

World asks town that banned the plastic bag: how can we do it too?

The Guardian 05.12.07

Two weeks after becoming the first town in Europe to ban plastic bags from its shops, an extraordinary transformation has taken place in the south Devon community. Carrying a plastic bag has become antisocial behaviour.

Wicker baskets, rucksacks and reusable bags of every shape and size swing from the arms of shoppers in the bustling town of 1,500 people. But if you're spotted with a plastic one you risk becoming a social pariah.

Link: World asks town that banned the plastic bag: how can we do it too?

Traders consider plastic bag ban

Carriers BBC News 06.13.07

An area of Brighton is considering following in the footsteps of a Devon town, banning the use of plastic bags.

Shoppers in Kemptown would be offered a reusable, cotton carrier bag bearing a logo and shop names.

UK PLASTIC BAG FACTS                        

  • We use on average 167 a year
  • Only one in every 200 bags is recycled
  • Plastics can take up to 400 years to break down in a landfill
Source: We Are What We Do

Link: Traders consider plastic bag ban

June 28, 2007

Christmas Plastic Bag Ban Urged

BBC News 06.12.07

Plastic_aint_my_thing Shoppers and retailers are being encouraged to join a campaign for the UK's first plastic-bag free Christmas. Promoted by the non-profit group that was also the force behind designer Anya Hindmarch's sell-out "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" shopping bag, they say that 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.

Our Take: While "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" is a great slogan, the bag produced is not a very practical reusable shopping bag. "Plastic Ain't My Bag" is another great slogan - we hope it makes it onto a more practical shopping tote. Similar to the shopping totes that carry our "Plastic Bags Blow" slogan.

Link: Christmas Plastic Bag Ban Urged

Plastic Bag Revolt Spreads Across Britain

USA Today 06.20.07

Following the British city of Modbury's ban on plastic bags in May, larger cities are following suit and retailers are promoting plastic bag free days, reusable totes, or even buy-your-own bags to discourage usage. Eschewing plastic bags was one of the most frequent responses for a recent poll of top suggestions to make the world a better place and their impact on climate change is being more widely recognized.

Our Take: While those who bring their own bags may still be in the minority in many places, the movement is becoming more mainstream, especially in Britain.


Link: Plastic Bag Revolt Spreads Across Britain

May 22, 2007

Marks & Spencer to charge for shopping bags in Northern Ireland store

BBC News 05.22.07

Shoppers will soon have to pay for plastic carrier bags in Marks and Spencer's 14 Northern Ireland stores. Chief executive Stuart Rose said local customers would be the first to have to pay five pence for a plastic bag during a trial period beginning in July. Marks and Spencer's shoppers would be given a free "bag for life" in the month preceding the trial. The move comes as part of Marks and Spencer's drive towards ethical trading and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

Our Take: Following Ikea's recent announcement to charge for bags, another major retailer follows suit. Retailer initiatives like this, take a real stance on the plastic bag issue since they attempt to capture some of the hidden costs of "free" plastic bags and create incentives for customers to reduce their

Link: Marks & Spencers to charge for shopping bags in Northern Ireland store

May 11, 2007

Fast tills for green shoppers

The Scotsman 05.11.07

A SUPERMARKET in Edinburgh is to pilot a scheme of "green tills" allowing shoppers who are not using plastic carrier bags to get through the checkouts faster.  Waitrose, in Morningside, is to hold a two-week trial where customers who use the special tills will not be given plastic bags, but have to bring their own bags.  The move is designed to promote the reuse and recycling of carrier bags - and to help Waitrose assess how customers would react to a "bag-less supermarket" in future.

Our Take: Our Newsroom documents many of the creative ways that cities and stores are dealing with limiting the use of plastic bags. We thought Edinburgh's pilot project was interesting.

Link: Fast tills for green shoppers

April 30, 2007

British Town Bans Plastic Bags


A MARKET town is banning all plastic bags from tomorrow.

In a trailblazing move shoppers in Modbury, Devon, will be provided with biodegradable cornstarch bags, recyclable paper bags or reusable cotton and jute bags. The scheme - believed to be the first of its kind in Europe - is being joined by all the town's 43 traders - from family shops to the local supermarket.

It is the brainchild of wildlife camerawoman Rebecca Hosking who was moved to tears by the disastrous impact of plastic rubbish on marine life when filming in Hawaii. Rebecca, 33, who lives in Modbury, which has a 1,500 population, said: "What I witnessed was so heartbreaking and unnecessary."

Link: British Town Bans Plastic Bags.

April 19, 2007

UK Supermarket Chain To Hand Out 7 Million Reusable Bags


UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s will stop giving out disposable carrier bags on 27 April as part of an initiative to encourage positive action by its customers.

Instead, all stores that day will give customers free reusable bags, the so-called “bags for life” made from thicker plastic material and usually sold for 10 pence each. Sainsbury’s expects to give out 7 million such bags during the day.

The company said it is “urging customers to keep and reuse the bags on future shopping trips thereby reducing the amount of disposable carrier bags in the future”.

Sainsbury's customer director, Gwyn Burr, said: “We want to make it as simple as we can for our millions of customers and thousands of colleagues to take action now. Customers often want to do their bit, whether that's to recycle more, or cut down on carrier bags, but don't often know where to start.”

Sainsbury’s is one of the retailers that signed a voluntary agreement with the UK government in January to reduce the overall environmental impact of carrier bags by 25% by the end of 2008...

Link: UK Supermarket Chain To Hand Out 7 Million Reusable Bags.

November 09, 2006

Jobs not at risk in bags ban


The Keep Wales Tidy group has hit back at claims that banning plastic bags from Welsh supermarkets would have undesirable consequences. Recently the Carrier Bag Consortium, representing bag manufacturers, criticised Environment Minister Carwyn Jones for suggesting such a ban.

Keep Wales Tidy chief executive Tegryn Jones responded, "In the Republic of Ireland, where there is now a tax on plastic bags, there is no evidence there were job losses. The few jobs depending on the plastic bag industry in Wales that could conceivably be lost would be more than compensated for by other employment opportunities.

November 06, 2006

In Ireland, a tax has cleaned up


A tax has cleared the Republic of Ireland's streets and countryside of discarded plastic bags.

In spring 2002 plastic-bag litter was effectively killed off by a levy of 15 euro cents for every bag handed out. In five months, the use of plastic bags was slashed by more than 90 per cent.

The Irish environment ministry estimates that the "plastax" brings in 10 million pounds a year, which is being spent on environmental projects...

Link: In Ireland, a tax has cleaned up.

November 03, 2006

Scotland bins bag tax plans

Environmental Data Interactive Exchange

Plans to follow in the footsteps of Ireland by introducing a tax on plastic bags have been put on the backburner in Scotland after the MSP who proposed them withdrew his Bill.

Mike Pringle, Lib Dem MSP for Edinburgh South, had put forward a Plastic Bag Levy Bill which would see supermarkets and other retailers providing plastic bags charging a small fee for every carrier customers required, in an effort to encourage consumers to use their own bags.

The Bill had found considerable support among other MSPs, though manufacturers of the bags had, unsurprisingly, opposed the moves, saying it would harm the Scottish economy and cost jobs.

But now, despite the fact the Scottish Executive has not passed the Bill, Mr Pringle says he has accomplished what he set out to do and it is now down to the executive to take what steps it feels are required to tackle plastic waste north of the border. According to Mr. Pringle, "withdrawing this Bill now puts the ball firmly in the Scottish Executive's court. I want to see concrete proposals that integrate my Bill into an overall waste minimisation strategy.

Ross Finnie, Scottish Environment Minister, claimed a voluntary code asking retailers to sign up for reductions could be just as effective as legislation. "I would strongly urge retailers to sign up to the voluntary code and I'd expect to see progress shortly. If agreement cannot be reached, then legislation may have to be considered."

Link: Scotland bins bag tax plans.

August 05, 2006

Tesco offers carrot to reduce use of plastic carrier bags

Guardian Unlimited Business

Tesco unveiled plans yesterday to offer shoppers a financial incentive to use fewer plastic carrier bags.

In the first such scheme, Britain's biggest supermarket group will encourage shoppers to re-use bags by offering one point for the Clubcard loyalty scheme (worth 1p) for every carrier bag they do not use. It is the latest in a series of recent moves by the big grocery chains as each tries to show it is greener than the other...

The number of carrier bags handed out to British shoppers - 17bn a year, or 280 a person - is fast becoming an emotive issue. Only one in every 200 bags is recycled and an estimated 100,000 tonnes of plastic bags (the same weight as 70,000 cars) are thrown away in the UK each year...

Tesco's initiative comes two months after Ikea began charging 5p a bag. The Swedish furniture group says plastic bag usage at British stores has since dropped by 95% - far more than it had expected. Its UK customers got through 32m carrier bags last year - in the year after starting to charge, the figure will be just 1.6m.

Link: Tesco offers carrot to reduce use of plastic carrier bags.

February 06, 2006

Bag tax central to Irish packaging waste success story

Environmental Data Interactive Exchange

The Irish authorities are confident of meeting the latest EU targets set for packaging waste and part of the credit is owed to the introduction of the national tax on plastic bags.

The Plastic Bags Levy, which charges consumers for every disposable bag they use on their shopping trips, has made many members of the public rethink their position on waste.

This culture change has made huge inroads into waste reduction that reach far beyond the bags themselves.

New targets for the recovery a recycling of packaging waste were announced on Monday, February 27.

"Packaging waste recycling is an Irish environmental success story", said Environment Minister Dick Roche...

Link: Bag tax central to Irish packaging waste success story.