Saving our planet; one bag at a time

October 27, 2008

British villages show the way

Filed under: Environment, Happy customers — Tags: , , , — Kaajal @ 4:35 pm

Our “use and throw away” culture needs to change for real change to happen. What’s heartening is the kind of effort people are making.

Hopefully, plastic bags will soon be a thing of the past in a pair of Saddleworth villages.

Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents’ Association (GGRA) has persuaded local shopkeepers to ban free plastic carrier bags with the launch of a groundbreaking green-bag project.

Using funding from the National Lottery and Saddleworth and Lees Community Council, the group has produced 6,000 re-usable cotton bags which will now be sold in shops, schools and churches.

It is hoped the move will engage the 3,000 households in the area into changing from a ‘throwaway’ culture to one that is more aware of the harm plastic bags have on the environment and wildlife.

The money made from bag sales will feed back into the project to produce more bags and hopefully make the project fully sustainable.

If successful, Greenfield and Grasscroft will be the North West’s first plastic-bag-free community, and could inspire others to do the same.

GGRA has taken its lead from Modbury in Devon – Britain’s first plastic bag free town – which banned shopkeepers and traders from giving customers plastic bags.

The ‘Green Grass Bags’ feature artwork by children from primary schools at St Mary’s Greenfield, Greenfield School, Friezland and St Anne’s Lydgate.

On Friday, more than 100 residents packed Friezland Parish Hall to mark the launch.

MP Phil Woolas and Chris Davies MEP, both avid supporters of the project, both praised GGRA, saying campaigns such as the ‘Green Grass Bag’ could eliminate the menace of plastic pollution in coming decades.

There was also a presentation by 10 ‘eco reps’ from the four local primary schools involved in the scheme.

Secretary of GGRA, Mike Rooke, said it was hoped the project would serve as a pilot scheme for the rest of Oldham.

“Experience tells us that oaks grow out of acorns, and it’s best to start with a local project,” he said. “Our villages can help lead the way. We’re trail-blazing for an all-out borough attack on disposable plastic bags.”

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