The PACT Resources & Waste Group (RaW!) aims to reduce resource consumption, make better use of resources and reduce waste through recycling, reuse and repair. RaW is involved in various projects, including a high profile campaign to reduce eliminate plastic bag usage in and around Penrith.
Plastic Bag Free Penrith campaign
Following the hugely successful Shoppers Survey conducted in the centre of Penrith in July 2009, seeking views from the community and promoting alternative forms of packaging, the group carried out a survey in early 2010 of local traders. The survey results have established that a staggering 6 MILLION single use plastic bags are currently used by traders in Penrith, and understand what their needs are.
In October 2010, the group ran a stall in the centre of Penrith as a Bag Swap and to ask shoppers to sign a petition. Over 600 plastic bags were swapped for cotton carriers. Well over 400 people signed the petition asking asking for a charge on single use carrier bags. This petition will be handed in to the House Common by our MP Rory Stewart.
The group is now looking to work with traders to drastically reduce this number. RAW will also demonstrate alternative greener forms of packaging, such as corn-starch biodegradable bags, and compostable delicatessen pots and takeaway trays.
PACT is also applying for a grant which would be used to help kit out shops with cotton bags and non-plastic carriers, along with campaign publicity material. Overall the view is that we all managed quite happily without plastic bags up until 50 years ago, and the trend to bringing your own bag shopping is increasingly becoming the norm again.
For more information or to get involved, please visit the PACT plastic-bag-free campaign pages.