This week the Scottish government is launching a three-month consultation on a range of proposals, including phasing out free carrier bags.
Back in 2007 wildlife camerawoman Rebecca Hosking was filming in the Pacific where she witnessed the shocking and slow deaths of marine life as result of discarded plastic in our oceans. On her return to the UK and in under a month, working with friends and showing her film, she persuaded all 43 Modbury shopkeepers to replace the plastic bag, the symbol of the throwaway society, with reusable cloth bags. Rebecca’s successful campaign turned Modbury, South Devon into the first town in Europe to go plastic bag-free and Rebecca was awarded an MBE for her services to the environment. ‘Hawaii Message in the Waves’ is the website where you will find the trailer for the project Rebecca was working on or for the full version here.
Governments the world over have taken action to either ban the sale of lightweight bags, charge customers for lightweight bags or generate taxes from the stores who sell them. Major countries such as South Africa, China, Taiwan and Macedonia have a total ban on the plastic bags.
Last year Jean-Michel Cousteau spoke at the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Aberdeen, in this clip A piece of plastic can kill! from his TechFest talk he spoke of the damage plastic is causing our oceans. Jean-Michel mentioned how he has used the same cloth shopping bag for many years, an excellent example of how we can all take steps to end this overuse of plastic while we wait for governments to act.
What about Scotland following the lead of Rebecca Hosking who graduated from Napier University, Edinburgh with a first class honours degree in photography, film and television and lets have a plastic bag free Scotland now.