Have your say on plastic bags in Jesmond

Transition Jesmond, a local group committed to tackling climate change, is stepping up its campaign to make Acorn Road a plastic bag free zone and wants you to take part in a online survey.

Photograph: Alan Stanton

It is estimated that the average person uses each plastic carrier bag for just 12 minutes before disposing – but it then lasts in the environment for decades. The world uses over 1.2 trillion plastic bags a year. That equates to around 300 bags for each adult on the planet. More than one million bags are used per minute.

Transition Jesmond says plastic bags are causing great damage to the local environment, cluttering landfill sites, while at sea they kill at least 100,000 birds, whales, seals and turtles every year.

“With just a little bit of thought, none of us needs to use a new plastic bag every time we visit the shops,” says organiser Tony Waterston. “We can take our own re-usable bags.”

In Newcastle city centre, M & S, TK Maxx and Greggs have already begun to charge for plastic carrier bags, and this has been shown to reduce their use by more than 80%.

“Our aim is to introduce charging in all the Acorn Road shops which use plastic carriers. The great majority of the traders are sympathetic and we can win this campaign,” says Waterston.

The group would like anyone who shops in Jesmond to complete this brief online survey by the end of January. The group says it will then share the survey findings with JesmondLocal readers.