Remember We Are What We Do who Change the World for a Fiver? Well, their first action in their book to change the world was to refuse plastic bags. They took their own advice a step further and launched the campaign Plastic Ain't My Bag in the UK.
It is also in the UK where Ikea starts charging for plastic bags and where the Guardian reported about the first town to ban this nasty and yet so common product. Dabid Robinson, co-founder of We Are What We Do, explains that 'each of us annually consigns 167 bags to landfill for 500 years (often after they've spent several months choking wildlife and disfiguring our parks and countryside.)'. To teach people how to master The Art of Saying No, tactical tools were designed as part of a month-long campaign.
We Are What We Do work together with a community of retailers such as Sainsburys, Morrisons, Mondos, Applejacks and The Theatre Royal to drastically reduce the use of plastic bags. Helpers in Plastic Ain't My Bag t-shirts started the campaign at Stratford Shopping Centre in East London by flooding the supermarket with stickers and posters to raise awareness. A special bag was also designed and handed out that says 'I'm Not A Plastic Bag'. The event got quite a lot of press and the fact that the bag was made in China, made We Are What We Do have to write a whole justification for their work. The full response can be read here (and is worth reading!) but to sum it up Robinson says that the term 'slave labour' is incorrect in relation to their bag project, that the bags were made in China as otherwise it would have been too expensive. He also points out that the products had been shipped, not flown, to reduce the carbon footprint.
So, we still believe that more people should get involved in saying no to plastic bags because as We Are What We Do say:"If enough people act together, things get easier and worlds change. Or, as we like to say, Small changes x Lots of people = Big changes. Altogether now, 'Baby, Plastic Ain't My Bag.'" So don't just wait for Action 08 (Take a Bath with Someone you Love Campaign) but get involved as a punter or a shop or just follow the A to Z bag activism. ::We Are What We Do, Plastic Ain't My Bag