Scottish Government Initiative

20th March 2009

The Selkirk Plastic Bag Free campaign supports the Scottish Government's initiative to help reduce the use of plastic carrier bags. With Scotland using one billion bags a year and our local authorities spending £385 million a year dealing with waste this new campaign to encourage us all to reduce our carrier bag use by 50% is a welcome step in the right direction.

Changing habits takes time and it's important to remember that changing our use of plastic carrier bags to reusable bags is an ongoing process, but one that is happening. Change is afoot. The Scottish Government claims that research has shown that 92% of people believe that reusing bags is good for the environment yet 59% still forget to take their own bags with them when shopping. But habits are changing.

Selkirk is a fine example of this. We know that the town is not yet 100% plastic bag free but our traders and townsfolk are working towards that and change is evident. There has been a significant reduction in the use of plastic carrier bags here and a huge increase in the numbers of those using reusable shopping bags. And our surrounding countryside is cleaner and tidier too.

It is easy to see how campaigns such as these can drift from people's minds but if we keep up the effort, if we keep talking about it and bringing it back into the public domain then we can surely make more of a difference.

For all those people out there who are making the effort (and the numbers are substantial) we would say "Keep up the good work. We are making a difference. Change is happening."

Jenna Agate
Selkirk Plastic Bag Free