Cotton bag giveaway in London highlights 2 billion bags of yearly waste
by David Masters
February 27, 2008
10,000 London shoppers were treated to a free cotton re-usable bags during a 3-hour giveaway in the centre of the city.
The fairtrade cotton bags were given away on Regent Street and Oxford Street by thelondonpaper and Recycle for London as part of a campaign encouraging consumers to re-use plastic carrier bags.
The campaign follows the Mayor’s office calling for London’s city dwellers to reuse their plastic bags and say no to new bags.
Londoners use an average of 37 million new plastic bags every week, equating to 2.2 billion bags every year. Only one out of every 200 bags is recycled. The rest end up in incineration or landfill, where they can take up to 500 years to break down.
Deputy Mayor of London, Nicky Gavron, said at the campaign’s launch: “Today’s campaign is a suitable reminder for Londoners to stand back and look at the amount of rubbish they create on a weekly basis.”
Thelondonpaper’s editor, Stefan Hatfield, added: “The environment is a top priority for thelondonpaper and our readers. We fully support this project, which will help reduce waste in the capital.”
The New West End Company, who are responsible for promoting and enhancing retail in the West End of London, have also welcomed the campaign.
Their chief executive Richard Dickinson said: “West End retailers are also very keen to encourage green shopping practices with many of them introducing their own eco-bags this year.
“The Mayor’s support will help us all focus on the things we can do, every day, to become green consumers.”
There are no plans in the works to give away any more free bags this year, but Recycle for London have said that they may consider it in next year’s budget.
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