Monday, 5 November 2007

New poll on website

I've just changed the poll on my official website.

Having previously asked whether people supported the idea of having a Strategic Transport Authority for the Bristol area (yes by 88-12%), I'm now asking people whether they think Bristol should follow the example of Modbury, a town in Devon, and ban plastic bags.

17 billion plastic bags a year are given out to British shoppers, with the average shopper getting 5 new ones each week. Environmental campaigners say that there are as many as 100bn bags littering the world and clogging the seas.

They've already been banned in places such as Zanzibar, Taiwan and Bangladesh - where they were blocking drains and causing flooding - and now San Francisco has become the first US city to ban them. Brighton has already announced that it is aiming to be the first British city to do so.

In Ireland they've taken a different route: a 15p tax on plastic bags, has led to a 90% reduction in use.

So should Bristol follow in Modbury's footsteps? At the moment the poll stands at 75% in favour, but it's early days yet.


Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Yes please to reducing plastic bag use in Bristol! I was in Devon for my summer holidays. I notice that Devon is working hard to brand itself as a low-carbon holiday destination, laying on buses at the weekend and taking out whole page ads in the paper. The co-op in the town I stayed in was trying out a "no plastic bag" policy and I was impressed by how a culture of going shopping with your own shopping bag seemed to be developing.

Changing ways of doing things by social pressure is probably easier in a small town than a big city but I think that there are ways of doing it. For example retailers should make sure staff ask customers if they need a plastic bag rather than handing one out automatically.

Yesterday I noticed a big ChooseDay (no cars on Tuesday) outside the BRI. We could have a few banners on the plastic bag topic hanging between the buildings in the New Broadmead, couldn't we? M&S might like to sponsor publicity for a plastic bag free shopping day once a week. Of all the retailers they seem to be working hardest to promote green and fairtrade issues.