Rutland Traders are united in their support for the 'Carry-a-bag scheme' which hopes to banish disposable plastic carrier bags by using reusable Rutland bags. Researchers will be out in force in Oakham this week, from Wednesday to Friday outside Tesco, to find out if shoppers are willing to change their habits.
The campaign has been launched by Oakham mail order firm Lands' End together with Rutland Council and is backed by the Rutland and Stamford Mercury. If successful, it could make Rutland the first single-use plastic bag free county in the country.
Lands' End hope that people will stop the researchers and give their honest opinions in support of the Carry-a-bag campaign. Inspiro Bags in Owston are helping to develop two bags - one from recycled plastic bottles and a foldable nylon bag to fit into pockets. Flower and leaf logos have been designed by Lands' End's designers. Proceeds from the Rutland bags will go to Oakham and Uppingham in Bloom.
'Rutland Day' which is September 13th, is the planned date for the unveiling of the bag, and it's hoped that every local trader will have begun to phase out their disposable plastic bags by then.
Lands' End say that they have had a 30% reduction in the use of the disposable bags by simply not offering them to their clients.
Meanwhile, you can always recycle your own carrier bags. If you're a dab hand at crochet, you make a strong 'yarn' by cutting up your old plastic bags. You need to cut off the top and bottom sections (handles and sealed end). Then fold the bag lengthways so it's about 3 or 4 inches wide. Cut across the bag to make 1" strips. You should end up with a lot of loops. You can join the loops together to form a length by pulling one loop through the other, folding it and pulling its end
through itself. Once you've got a long length of yarn you can crochet your own shopping bag! Click here and here for some great ideas on recycling bags and here for more links for making the yarn and recycling bags; here is an
Australian site with some interesting views.