Get a free ‘bag for life’
Shoppers in Jesmond’s Tesco tomorrow (Saturday 29th October) will be handed a free “bag for life”.
The initiative on Acorn Road is the latest stage in Transition Jesmond’s campaign to rid Jesmond of plastic carrier bags, because of the damage they do to the environment and wildlife.
Tesco store manager Brian Taylor says the retailer has 3,750 long-life, reusable bags to give away, and hopes shoppers will be encouraged to bring the bag back to the store each time they shop. He says the retailer is hoping that Jesmond students in particular will get into the reusable bag habit.
Taylor says Tesco is trying hard to reduce its own use of plastic bags and is finding that many shoppers already bring their own bags.
Tesco is just one of the retailers that has signed up to Transition Jesmond’s plastic bag campaign. According to Transition Jesmond’s Tony Waterston, 19 out of 21 shops on Acorn Road are now part of the scheme. The majority have qualified for the highest “3 leaf” level, which means that either they do not issue plastic bags at all or that they charge for them.
One notable exception is Boots – store manager Melanie Fox says this is a head office decision. However, in recent weeks Transition Jesmond’s campaign has spread successfully to shops in the Cradlewell area – Surinders and Dene’s Deli are both “3 leaf” now. Transition Jesmond is also planning a “mystery shopper” exercise, to conduct year-round checks and advise on improvements that individual retailers can make. “We shall be carrying out an online survey which we will in the future extend to other parts of the city, and will then be able to publicise the shops whose plastic bags practice is poor,” says Waterston.
Waterston says Transition Jesmond is also keen that the new Waitrose store, which opens on Wednesday 2nd November on Osborne Road, will also join the scheme.