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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

More Plastic Bag Free Roll-out

Do you love social media? I'm not into all of them, but blogs and Facebook and Messenger I love.
One Facebook group that I follow is Journey to Zero Waste. It has 46,800 worldwide members. How heartening is that?! It's a closed page that you ask to join, and your comments or posts are only shown on that page.

I have met like-minded people via some of these sites, just recently someone from nearby as passionate about reducing plastic in our city as I am. 
She's joining us with our Grower's Market project - we are planning to make enough produce bags for the biggest stallholders to put items in for those people who insist on a plastic bag for items that then go into their reusable bags - go figure! Thanks Pania!

Curtain samples - fortunately most of the remnants were not in this form

Our local curtain shops have been great - donating remnants of nets and sheers for us to sew up. We're going to make the bags big enough to hold a whole cabbage, with no drawstring top.

The Supermarket Project  

We've had two weeks now, spending 2 hours in front of our Regent Countdown supermarket, encouraging people to use reusable bags. After the first 20 minutes we decided to start keeping a tally of who shopped with what, so that we could log progress.
Both weeks were very similar in numbers. Japanese student Kotori came to help us last week, making a beautiful neat tally.

The figures showed:

95 people used plastic bags including 11 people who left with just a single item in a plastic bag.
20 people used reusable bags
2 people had a mix of both
23 people left with no bag - just carrying the items

and we sold 42 bags on the first day and 53 on the second Saturday.

Now that might not seem like a lot of bags, but if they are reused for their estimated lifetime of 100 uses, that's 9,500 plastic bags saved.

We were delighted that the supermarket manager came out to see us as we were finishing up - saying that he's happy for us to continue past our month's trial! 


  1. The tally was a good idea and hopefully you will continue it and see the progress. I can see the difference in two grocery stores where we shop. Public has signs in the parking lot saying, don't forget you reusable bags, and inexpensive bags for sale when you enter the store. Kroger has neither and it seems the clerks are in a competition to use the most plastic bags. One or two items PER BAG is their usual packing method. We mostly shop at Kroger so I am there pretty often and I have never once seen another person bring in their own bags. The clerks don't like to pack there usable bags and make sure you notice their attitude. At Publix we see many people with the reusable bags the store sells. Too bad we can't afford to shop at Publix all the time but only occasionally can

    1. Cynthia, maybe talk to the store manager about the attitude. The supermarket we are working with had some staff doing that too (attitude), which I mentioned to the store manager while arranging our stall, he was not pleased when he heard what they were doing.

  2. This is so fantastic! Great idea to log the bag use, I can't wait to see what the stats show over time.


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