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September 10, 2010

As promised, the Corporate Affairs Manager for the Aberdeenshire area, Douglas Wilson, met with me last Tuesday, September 7.  We had a lengthy chat about Tesco’s policies relating to single-use plastic bags and agreed that

  1. Single use plastic bags would always be kept out of sight.
  2. Check-out operators would leave it up to customers to ask for a bag.  [i.e. They would not ask if customers need a bag.]
  3. If a customer requests a single use bag, operators would ask if they would like to buy a reusable bag, with various types readily available on the counter.
  4. At the end of each counter there would be a display of various reusable bags.
  5. Customers would be allocated ‘Green Clubcard points’ for using their own bags.
  6. All the above would be a permanent part of the training programme.
  7. Banchory bags Campaign could be in the store talking with customers at the Opening – November 22 was mentioned.
  8. There would be a special promotion of reusable bags for several weeks after the Opening.  BbC would prefer longer lasting bags to be promoted, rather than the Bag For Life.  Similar promotions could be held from time to time.
  9. Tesco’s support for the Banchory bags Campaign would be clearly displayed on the Community Notice Board.
  10. Support for the campaign would be indicated in the leaflet to be sent to Banchory residents.
  11. ‘Remember Your Bags’ signs would be placed at the end of each trolley park, rather than on the sides.
  12. A count of how many single use bags are saved would be made available to BbC if requested.
  13. The Community Officer would be available to come to meetings, if requested and some funding to go towards BbC initiatives would be available on a regular basis.

I have asked for confirmation of the acceptance of the above from Tesco and will report once it is obtained.


August 18, 2010

The bulldozers are busy, so it looks as if the Tesco Store is finally going to be built on the outskirts of Banchory.  There are very mixed views among residents about this. The main concerns are that it will adversely affect the High Street shops and the visual appearance of the store will spoil what is regarded as the entry to beautiful Deeside.

Tesco do say that it will be an Eco-Store and they are talking with the Community Council and other bodies about the impact it will have locally.  However, they have put up some very ugly blue fencing around the site while building is going on, and have plastered advertisements all over it.

My main responsibility was what their policy regarding single-use plastic bags would be  and I have had an email stating

In terms of our previous discussions regarding bags, the offer made was that we would keep single use plastic bags out of sight, encouraging the use of reusable bags.  However, if requested by a customer during a transaction then we would meet this request to supply single issue bags. Doug [the Corporate Affairs Manager for the area who has agreed to meet with me in early September] will no doubt discuss this in more detail, but Tesco also offer ‘green Clubcard points’ as in incentive to customers who reuse their bags.

I  hope that he [Doug Wilson] will be able to confirm this commitment – i.e. customers will have to actually request a bag.  They will not even be asked, ‘Do you need a bag’.


March 27, 2010

Bonnie Banchory is calling on the people of Banchory to show how much they hate litter by joining in with Beautiful Scotland’s National Spring Clean on Sunday, April 25, at 2pm for approximately 1hour in Bellfield Park.

Volunteers of all ages who are tired of litter and of paying for the Council to clean up after other people, are planning to blitz the Bellfield Park which is the ‘heart’ of Banchory.  Other areas will be tackled,  if sufficient volunteers come and help.

Bonnie Banchory members hope that their actions will show the rest of the community how big an issue litter has become – and that dropping it is not acceptable.  Not only do littered streets and parks damage business and tourism opportunities but it also costs Scottish council taxpayers £65 million a year to clean them.

In 2009 more than 57,639 volunteers took part in 1,082 clean up events as part of National Spring Clean during the month of April. The average quantity of litter collected per person across Scotland was one and a half black bags – that is enough to fill 28,819 standard wheelie bins.


March 4, 2010

The first question the self-service checkout machines in Morrisons now ask is ‘DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN BAG?’. Fantastic!


December 7, 2009

My grandson  [almost 9 years old] who lives in London has made his own video of  The Plastic Bag Story [with some help from his father] and will present it to his class tomorrow.  He wanted to simplify the message for children of his age and also to make it more relevant for the UK.  You can see it on –

I think he has done a brilliant job and I know that he would be happy for anyone to use it.

The Plastic Bag Story

November 16, 2009


November 16, 2009

Banchory is experiencing a problem with Academy students buying their lunches at our local Morrisons Supermarket and discarding the plastic bags along the road and around the parks before heading back to school.  The Council say that they are currently picking-up three large sacs of plastic rubbish every afternoon.

This is totally unacceptable.   I have arranged a meeting  to be held later this week with the Manager of the store, the chairman of the Banchory Community Council, a local Councillor and myself to discuss what can be done.  However, I realise that the actions the store can take are probably limited.  [I would like them to refuse to give students plastic bags and simply to expect the children to carry their purchases in their arms or in a backpack.]

I believe that the answer lies in educating the students and  have asked that all school children in and around Banchory are shown a number of photographs that I have recently come across which very powerfully illustrate the problems plastic bags can cause.



September 11, 2009

Banchory is getting ready to join the Plastic Bag Free Day that is being organised by many groups across the United Kingdom and the world tomorrow, September 12, 2009.

Plastic bag Free Day 001.jpg

Posters have gone up in shops in the town centre and on lamposts around the town asking shoppers to remember to bring their reusable bags with them.

The Banchory bags Campaign team will have a stall in the High Street where they will be joined by the MP, MSP and Councillors for the town, as well as the Aberdeenshire Waste Aware Team.  A quiz has been compiled and reusable bags containing other ‘goodies’ will be given away to 40 lucky shoppers.  Another 50 of the Co-op’s cotton bags will be given away at the stall and yet another 50 in the local Co-op store.

As well as bags and ‘goodies’ supplied by Waste Aware, BbC will be handing-out more of their bookmarks which set out facts about plastic bags on one side and ways to remember to take reusable bags on the other.  These bookmarks were very popular last year and the Banchory Library is hoping that not all will be given away tomorrow as they like to pop them into books borrowed from the library.

Checkout operators in the Co-op will be wearing especilly designed T-shirts promoting the PBF Day and, as well as cotton bags, they will be giving away 200 of their Bags-For-Life.

The Co-op District Manager has promoted the day right across all Co-op stores in Aberdeenshire and has suggested that BbC actively engage in conversations about plastic bags with shoppers in the Banchory store tomorrow.  He would also like BbC to repeat this action regularly over the next few months.

Good luck to all the other groups participating in the day.


July 23, 2009


Saturday Shoppers Urged to Ditch the Plastic Bags on the 12th September.
The world’s first Plastic Bag Free Day takes place on the 12th September 2009. The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is proud to support the day, which will encourage shoppers everywhere to ditch plastic bags for good, and to take reusable bags with them instead.

Joining in is easy, and can range from simply not taking plastic bags when out shopping to helping your community or town go Plastic Bag Free. Many local events are planned across the UK to mark the occasion, and the day will also act as a celebration for the 140 towns and communities that have gone, or are planning to go, Plastic Bag Free.

Plastic bags are the ultimate symbol of our throw-away, disposable lifestyles. The 2008 MCS Beachwatch litter survey found 8,174 plastic bags littering UK beaches on just one weekend. The next Beachwatch Big Weekend takes place one week after Plastic Bag Free Day, when we hope to record a decrease in this number. It is vital that we all act now. Animals, especially marine turtles, accidentally eat plastic bags and this may cause them to starve to death.

Dr Sue Kinsey, MCS Pollution Programme Manager said, “This is a fantastic initiative and will hopefully act as an incentive for everyone who still relies on plastic bags to leave them at the check out. We need as many people as possible to take part to make the day a success and show that one of the most preventable forms of plastic litter can easily be stopped. Plastic bags are a menace to marine wildlife and blight our landscape.  Groups as far afield as Canada and Hawaii are taking part and making this a truly international day!”

The Marine Conservation Society has prepared a free pack to help anyone who wants to make their community Plastic Bag Free. For more information, and to find out how you can get involved, please go to


July 18, 2009

Go to  and type plastic bags into their search engine.