Friday, 28 March 2008

They're all at it!

They're all at it in our neck of the woods (officially known as the East of England).

Our Conservative MP, David Ruffley was at it last summer. Suffolk's Liberal Democrats joined in last autumn. It's been happening in Clare and there are intentions that it's going to happen in Newmarket, Bungay, Chelmsford and Aylsham.

The big news is that people in Norwich are also at it today.

So what are they all doing?

Don't worry, it's all legal and above board.

I'm talking about raising the profile of ditching plastic bags. Indeed, today Norwich is going plastic bag free for one day to help raise awareness in one of our region's largest commercial centres.

I'm impressed with the momentum that's been building, not just in the country but in our particular area. However, it's a shame that Bury St Edmunds retailers haven't appeared to have committed yet.

Even though our town hasn't stepped out from the dark side, I'd like to give a quick round of applause to the shops where it is customary to ask if a bag is actually needed. So, well done to Boots the Chemist, Rymans, Woolworths, WH Smith, The Body Shop and Butterworths. If anyone knows of any others, whether they are local shops in Bury St Edmunds or national chains across the country, please give them a shout-out here. The more that join in the better!

I am now inspired to encourage our little suburb of Moreton Hall to become plastic bag free. After all it shouldn't be difficult, as we only have a few shops including a chemist, a Tesco Express and a post office. I have heard that the little Tesco Express goes through about 10,000 bags in a week and that the people who use reusable shopping bags are in the minority. Come on people, what does it take to take along your own bag? Only a little practice that's all!

And if anyone is thinking that degradable bags are the solution, keep looking in as that's another topic worthy of its very own blog post.

Hmm, I think a telephone call to the Tesco Express manager is imminent. Ooohh, I always enjoy a challenge, don't you?

As they say, if you don't ask you don't get! So watch this space!

UPDATE at 5.40pm

Guess what...I rang the manager of Tesco Express, who is keen to pass my suggestions about going plastic bag free through their customer feedback if you have a Tesco Express near you, why don't you try the same.



Florries Mum said...

We try very hard to ask customers if they need a bag, even a paper one, but some insist on a carrier bag for the smallest item, and just try asking them to pay for it! In these days of such huge competition from the retail giants it is very important not to do anything which may alienate your customers-they are very important to us independants.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi FM - great to see you're pushing the issue. It's the same with Tesco Express, where people are taking bags for just one thing. I used to and it is just a habit most of the time.

It was interesting to see at the weekend that Butterworths in BSE are now charging customers for bags, 10p for a paper one and 25p (I think) for a plastic one. They've had a couple of people who've "stamped their feet" but most have been okay.

But given their business is a health food / eco friendly product shop, their customer profile will be very different to yours no doubt.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin