Camden Friends of the Earth today responded to London Council’s consultation on throw-out shopping bags.

The group supports the introduction of a levy on all throw out shopping bags, whether paper or plastic, together with restrictions on the types of bags that shops can supply.

Bags use finite resources in their manufacture and distribution. Additionally, on disposal, often after only one use, they create litter, add to the UK’s landfill problems, and endanger wildlife on land and in water. While throw out shopping bags form a small percentage of our waste, such a levy will send a strong message to consumers and businesses about the need to reduce our impact on the environment.

Paper bags are not the answer as lifecycle analysis has shown that their environmental impact, although different to plastic bags, is still damaging. The group believes that the answer is a return to reusable bags, and that we should not wait for this legislation to make that change.

On 17th November the group is holding a joint event with Highgate LEAF (Local Environment Action Forum) to help people make bags. javascript:void(0)Material, sewing machines, and lessons will be provided. Please contact for more information.