Last May Day Modbury in Devon became the first town in Europe to ban plastic bags. Now, on this anniversary, we revisit the town to see the impact that the ban has had on the shopkeepers and businesses in the area. And the answer: once they had got rid of the plastic they realised that food packaging was another link in the chain. The butcher now packs meat in biodegradable corn-starch bags and switched his fridges to energy efficient models. The florist wraps flowers in corn starch cellophane and uses raffia instead of ribbon. The local deli owner puts sandwiches in brown paper bags and uses corn starch biodegradable cartons for take-out salads. The green grocer carries mainly loose produce, with brown paper bags for packaging.
Their next goal: on April 27 they are holding a mass beach clean-up. The townspeople are going to collect all the rubbish, recycle as much as they can and take note of the most prolific polluting items. Presumably that will be plastic water bottles, but they are already on to that too. One of the shopkeepers has started talking to the near-by bottled water company to see whether it would be willing to switch to reusable glass bottles. Don't you just want to move to Modbury? :: Guardian