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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.


July 17, 2009

Plastic bag revolt halves nationwide use to 450m

JOHN VIDAL – Environment Editor

Small green revolution reaches milestone as government figures reveal shoppers are rejecting plastic bags.

Plastic bags in China.

Plastic bags can take 1,000 years to decompose. Photograph: Stringer Shanghai/Reuters

It began in 2007 with a few traders in the small town of Modbury in Devon refusing to give out plastic bags. But yesterday their small green revolution reached a national milestone: British shoppers have nearly halved the number of single-use bags they get through.

Figures from Wrap, the government’s waste and resources programme, show that whereas 870m single-use plastic bags were handed out in the UK in May 2006, the figure for May 2009 was down to 450m – a 48% reduction, and 4,740 tonnes to send to landfill against 8,890 tonnes in May 2006.

Nationwide rejection of the bags, which take up to 1,000 years to decompose and clog drains and pollute oceans, followed a government challenge to retailers to voluntarily halve bag use by June 2009.

“Over the past year or so, we’ve invested £3m to help our customers change the habit of a lifetime. We’ve cut the number of single-use bags our customers use by 53%,” said an Asda spokeswoman.

But Asda still expressed frustration at the scheme. “The populist appeal of plastic bags has obscured more pressing issues, such as packaging reduction, carbon and energy use, and waste.”

Further reductions should be implemented through a carrot not a stick approach, and at retailers’ own discretion, it said. The €0.15 (12p) tax introduced in the Republic of Ireland in 2002 has cut bag use by more than 90%.

Yesterday the Welsh Assembly government said the dramatic reduction in bag use would not affect its proposal to introduce a 15p charge on single-use carrier bags. “Wales is still using 27m plastic bags a month, or 324m a year, ” said the environment minister Joan Davidson.

Rebecca Hosking, the BBC filmmaker who persuaded Modbury and other towns to reject plastic bags after seeing how they killed wildlife around the world, yesterday said the supermarkets had fought hard against the voluntary reduction in bag use. “What has been achieved is fantastic but they have complained non-stop like little children. You’d have thought they were being asked to go on a vegan diet or something. This has not been difficult at all. No-one has lost trade, or gone out of business in Modbury or anywhere else,” she said.

The plastic bag issue has divided environmentalists with some arguing the action is inconsequential while others say it is an important symbol of reduced consupmtion and often leads to further environmental acts.


July 16, 2009

The Marine Conservation Society has posted the following on its web-site and, as Banchory is participating in this day, I thought you should all be aware of what is going on.  It is a great idea and we in Banchory hope that, if shoppers find that they can do without single-use plastic bags for one day, they can do so on following days.

I urge anyone reading this post to spread the word.

Plastic Bag Free Day

plasticbagfree_endorsement logo.jpg

The UK’s first Plastic Bag Free Day will be on the 12th September 2009. MCS is supporting the day to get everyone to think about how much we rely on plastic packaging, and how easily we can all make a change to benefit our environment.

We are asking shoppers to ditch the plastic bags for good! Just take a reusable bag with you when you shop.

There are many ways you can support Plastic Bag Free day. Leave plastic bags at the checkout, help to make your town Plastic Bag Free or join in the celebrations at town’s that have already stopped using plastic bags. You could also write to shops and supermarkets asking them to support the day.

Town’s that are holding events to celebrate Plastic Bag Free day are shown below. More to come soon!

– Salisbury

– Seaham

– East Dulwich

– Selkirk

– Banchory

– Chesham

– Brighton

– Overton

– Kew

– Whitby

– Harrogate

– Haddington

– Ullapool

– Modbury

– Helston

– Lambeth

– Pontypridd

– Bridgend

– Kinrossshire

– Worthing

– Hebden Bridge

– Doncaster

– Plymouth

– Wellington

– Chepstow

– Abergeveny

– Monmouth

– Newport

– Edinburgh

– Maidstone

– Saltash

– Penrith

– Carmarthen

– Southwark

– Bridgend

– Market Harborough

– Netherfield

– Henfield

– North Berwick

– Kingston

– Lyme Regis

Towns that are, or are planning to go, Plastic Bag Free are listed here. Click to see if your town is among them.

To keep up to date with what MCS is doing for Plastic Bag Free day, and our other work, why not sign up to our free e-newsletter? Click here

Why should we all go Plastic Bag Free?

Each household in the UK uses 300 plastic bags every year. Even when we dispose of them correctly, plastic bags often get blown out of bins and landfill sites and end up littering our land and oceans.130709 Haverfordwest. Hookbags K.jpg

In the sea plastic bags look very similiar to jellyfish. Many marine animals, such as whales and turtles, accidentally eat the plastic bags but they can block their digestive systems and may cause them to starve to death.

MCS organises beach cleans and litter surveys and plastic items are the most commonly found items. Plastic litter has increased by 146% since 1994. In 2008 our volunteers found 8,174 plastic bags on just one weekend.

This has to stop, and it is easy to change. Join in on Plastic Bag Free day and ditch the plastic bags for good!


December 22, 2008

Early this week I was asked if I had any objection to the  Banchory bags Campaign being used as the basis of a dissertation by a Masters student from The Robert Gordon University.  Of course, I was delighted and met with the student’s tutor to give her some background on the campaign [pointing her to this blog, of course] and suggested some questions I would like included in the survey.

 The student has been in Banchory this week interviewing shoppers with a questionnaire about the campaign and whether it has changed their shopping habits.  The initial responses look to be positive, and shoppers were happy to be stopped and questioned. 

This survey will be treated as a ‘Pilot Study’ and a more extensive study will, hopefully, be undertaken by another student next year.

It will be very interesting for campaign members to know the results of the survey once the information has been collated.


December 5, 2008

The Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum has awarded the Banchory bags Campaign the ‘Green Butterfly Award’, which was presented at an awards ceremony on November 20 by BBC radio presenter, Mark Stephen.

The award was presented to Karen Clark, Paul Herrington and myself on behalf of the campaign, but I feel very strongly that it is a recognitition of the commitment and effort that the whole of the Banchory community have put into changing their habits.  The shoppers and traders have really embraced the idea of using reusable shopping bags and the award is an affirmation of that support.