HELP FREE LYME REGIS FROM PLASTIC CARRIER BAGS:
TLG’s first major campaign
We use them for an average of 12 minutes – but their lethal effects last between 15 and 1000 years.
Every year, British shoppers get through about 10 billion plastic bags. And every year, around 2 million dolphins, seals, seabirds, turtles and whales are killed by plastic bags in our seas. On land, plastic bags can trap birds and block drains. They can disable cars and, if animals eat them, the toxic waste can get into your food.
But it’s simple to stop the plastic bag carnage – just join the Bag Crowd, the Basket Brigade or the BackPackers! Or make your own… (we tell you how). And of course spend your money with retailers who have stopped giving out plastic carriers
In September 2009 our programme of activities included the first International Plastic Bag Free day and raising a few pounds selling our cloth bags. We had massive support again from most independent traders, and the Co-op.
Tesco has said it would do much to support our efforts at becoming plastic carrier bag free but we haven’t seen evidence of that yet, despite senior level commitments.
Turn Lyme Green bags at the new Eco-store in Broad Street, which has set up a community notice-board.
THE PLASTIC PLAGUE
The bad news:
• Plastic bags are said to be the most common manmade item seen by sailors at sea.
• A UN report in June 2006 estimated that on every square mile of ocean there’s 46,000 pieces of plastic debris floating.
• Greenpeace says that at least 267 marine species are known to have suffered from getting entangled in or ingesting marine debris. Nearly 90 per cent of that debris is plastic.
• Marine wildlife eat plastic bags because they mistake them for jellyfish. Once in their guts, the bags cause intestinal blockages – which are deadly.
• Plastic bags become serial killers because they do not break down in the environment. Once a creature which has ingested a plastic bag dies, it decays at a much faster rate than the bag. When the animal has decomposed, the bag is released back into the environment, more or less intact – and ready to be eaten by another misguided animal or bird.
• Plastic bags threaten urban environments as well as natural ones: plastic bags in drains were identified as major factors in the severe floods in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. This resulted in a ban on plastic bags being impose there in 2002. India also is discouraging the use of plastic bags nationwide.
• Plastic bags are costly in money terms too, both to produce and to clean up.
• Plastic bags are made from ethylene, a gas that occurs as a by-product of oil, gas and coal production (all non-renewables), which is transformed into chains of hydrogen and carbon molecules known as polymers or polymer resin. After being heated, shaped, and cooled, the plastic is ready to be flattened, sealed, punched, or printed on.
• Over 99 per cent of plastic bags cannot be recycled. The ones that are collected must be disposed of in landfill sites.
• There are three main types of plastic shopping bags:
• light filmy HDPE (high density polyethylene), mostly used in food outlets
• heavier LDPE (low density polyethylene) ones from clothing stores etc
• very thick glossy ones made from linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE).
The good news:
• Manufacturers don’t need to use plastic for carrier bags. There are now an increasing number of degradable alternatives to plastic carrier bags, including corn and potato starch (which can even be composted).
• More and more countries, states and towns are taking action to ban plastic carrier bags, including Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, California, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Philippines, Scotland, Somalia, South Africa, Southern Ireland; UK towns include Modbury, Hebden Bridge and Stroud.
Change your shopping habits!
Lots of environmentally conscious companies are now giving away free carriers so you can create your own collection – and carry them with you at all times.
Morsbags say they’re a ‘sociable and fun way to put an end to evil plastic bags’. This non-profit organisation encourages people to make reusable cloth bags out of old curtains, duvets etc to hand out for free to shoppers so that they’ll use them instead of plastic bags. So far over 160 ‘pods’ (groups of baggers!) have made over 4000 morsbags, potentially replacing over 2 million plastic bags! To see how easy it is, click here. Turn Lyme Green used their easy-to-make pattern during our sew-ins making bags from recycled fabric and materials brought in local residents on the day.
The Coop stores in Plymouth and the South West were the first retailer to get behind Modbury, the pioneering town in Devon, which blazed the plastic-bag-free trail in May 2007
Where to get your bags
For a printable sheet with details of Turn Lyme Green recommended suppliers, click HERE.
Our cotton bags are being provided by www.bags2keep.co.uk – also the official Modbury suppliers, under Fair Trade mark, using unbleached cotton, and printed with water-based ink.
• The Traders of Modbury’s suggest these wholesalers – www.plasticbagfree.com/wholesalers.php
• Polybags – www.polybags.co.uk -a Biodegradable carrier – 1,000 for £72; 10,000 for £42.22 per 1,000. (check for uptodate prices)
• Global Trading UK – www.gtuk.co.uk Tel 01772 334963. They supply the Co-operative Group with mater-bi home compostable cornstarch bags. Cost 6-8 p per bag. They can provide bio-degradable, cotton, jute bags, and are involved in research into alternative bags.
• Affordable bio-degradable polymer – www.biority.com – supply bags to River Cottage shop in Axminster.
• www.jutexpo.co.uk -suppliers of biodegradable jute bags. Clients include Dorset County Council, and Hebden Bridge Bag Ladies.
• www.pickhemp.com – suppliers of organic hemp fabrics.
• www.greenfibres.co.uk – wholesale fabric.
• Cornstarch bags: Biobag Limited, tel: 01772 641 348
• www.ecosac.net Tel:01630 639614
• String bags: Turtle Bags, tel: 01299 827092 Turtlebags