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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kew not quite plastic bag free - Tesco don't retreat

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm a little bit green. I've noticed more and more people on the London Underground not carrying plastic bags. Some more obviously than others.

I'm Not a Plastic Bag

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that The Guardian's Dave Hill, said I was "saving the world on a Bank Holiday Monday" with my post about GeeKyoto & whether travelling by Tube is green. GeeKyoto is still possibly the best event I've been to this year.

Recycled Bag and Fashion Bag on the Tube

But I'm not a card carrying recycling old hippie wearing hemp shoes and I don't recycle any waste food - which is bad I know - but I don't have space for a compost heap and also don't like those little smelly green bins that sit by your sink.

I live in Kew, it's one of those nice pseudo-villages (phrase nicked from TimeOut London's blogger Peter Watts' piece on the No 33 bus) and the Kew Society recently launched a campaign to make Kew Plastic Bag Free. Basically they got agreement from most traders in Kew (with one notable exception) to go plastic-bag-free. 50 local traders including the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew agreed from July 1st to never hand out free plastic bags and offer their own greener alternatives instead. Read more at Greener Kew. There's a launch party around Kew Gardens Tube Station, Station Parade at 7pm on Monday, June 30.

Yesterday's Evening Standard did a piece on this and once again didn't let the facts damage a good story. They claimed that Tesco (the notable exception) had made a "major turnaround" & "retreated". This is somewhat over enthusiastic reporting, as Tesco never said they wouldn't ever give out plastic bags. They would only give them out to people who ask for them, and they certainly didn't positively choose to offer an alternative. I personally have nothing major against Tesco - although I know many who people have. I use bags for life and Onya bags as much as I can, but not all the time, as sometimes I go out without them.

Onya bags in Kew Gardens Oliver's Health Food shop Hazel Unloading Onya Shopping Bag

What is most galling is that I know several friends & neighbours from Kew who tried to comment on the Evening Standard's website to say that Tesco shouldn't be seen as the big hero in all of this. At time of writing, none of their comments appear. I wonder why that is?


UPDATE - 1st July 2008
- here's what happened at the Greener Kew - Plastic Bag Free Launch Party


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