Say no to plastic bags... at least for a day
Tara Greaves If plastic bags had been around in the Middle Ages, archaeologists would still be digging them up today. Though they only have an average lifespan of just 20 minutes, it can take up to 1,000 years for one to rot away.
If plastic bags had been around in the Middle Ages, archaeologists would still be digging them up today.
Though they only have an average lifespan of just 20 minutes, it can take up to 1,000 years for one to rot away.
Now the campaign to outlaw them is gaining momentum, with scores of people across Norfolk and Suffolk pledging to ban the bag - including shoppers in Norwich.
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The Norwich Carbon Reduction Trust, backed by the EDP, is running a week of eco-action from March 24 with a plastic-bag-free day on March 28.
Former Sheriff of Norwich Brenda Arthur, chairman of the trust, said: "We want to encourage individuals to make a small change which collectively will make a significant difference. We are very grateful to the EDP for its support in producing leaflets and also for pledging to run a green tip on the front of the paper each day for the week."
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City-centre shops which have so far pledged to support the bag-free day by displaying a leaflet include Tesco in Guildhall Hill, many of the shops in the Norwich Lanes, Marks and Spencer, Jarrold, HMV in Gentleman's Walk and John Lewis.
The management of both Castle Mall and Chapelfield have also backed the campaign.
Rachael Trezise, who is helping to co-ordinate the week, said: "We hope it will be the first step in changing people's practices and although we will be having reminder days, we hope people will think before they accept a new plastic bag from now on.
"Plastic bags pollute the sea and land and there are alternatives to them. Even reusing old plastic bags stops perpetuating the problem."
About 13 billion free single-use plastic bags - a by-product of crude oil - are given out in the UK yearly.
The city council is working on its own project to produce eco-friendly Fairtrade and organic bags which will be handed out at events such as the Royal Norfolk Show.
Steve Morphew, leader of the city council, said: "The issue of plastic is an important part of a wider environment agenda. The reusable bags that are in production are the first of a series to be introduced and I would encourage people to take full advantage of them."
Other towns and communities are also planning to ban the bag, with Aylsham recently announcing it was aiming to become Norfolk's first bag-free town and North Walsham and Bungay thinking about bag-free days.
While yesterday, Norfolk County Council's cabinet agreed to launch a countywide 'Say No to Plastic Bags Campaign'.
As reported in the EDP, Norwich is also signed up to the global Earth Hour on March 29 from 8pm.
The event, which is the brainchild of Norfolk man Andy Ridley who now lives and works in Australia, will see everyone switching off all non-essential lights for an hour to show how much energy can be saved.
For more information about the week of eco-action, call 01603 763330 or 07974 716759, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ncrt.org.uk
A poll of readers on our website EDP24 showed that 60pc take their own bags when they go to the supermarket.