John Whittingdale helped launch the competition to design the new Eco-friendly reusable bag for Maldon. Already some 5,000 jute and cotton bags featuring the first design have been distributed and they are on sale in over 30 retailers in Maldon High Street. A competition has now been launched to design a new smaller bag also made from jute. The competition is open until 30th May and the winner will have a day's sailing on a Thames Barge courtesy of Topsail Charters Ltd.
The initiative to promote eco-friendly bags is being taken by the Maldon Retail Promotions Group and local firm, Portabrands. The aim is that by 2009, Maldon will be the first plastic bag-free town in Essex. More information can be found at www.visitmaldon.co.uk and www.portabrands.com
Pictured with John Whittingdale are Liz Murphychairan of the Maldon Retail Promotions Group, Tom Russell, designer of the first bag, Hazel Bates of Portabrands, Den Phillips, Helen Craggs of the Maldon Tourist Information Centre and Ian Bates of Portabrands.
By 2009 Maldon plans to be the first plastic bag-free town in Essex because it wants to see less waste, less pollution and a healthier environment for us all to enjoy. The Maldon Retail Promotions Group ran a competition recently to find a new design to replace the current bag (designed by Tom Russell). This design has been very successful with now over 8,000 jute and cotton bags in circulation and available to purchase from over 40 retailers in and around Maldon.
The panel judges for the design competition were John Whittingdale MP, Tom Russell, Den Phillips, Liz Murphy, Jan Smith and Ian Bates. Mr Whittingdale said ‘it is good to see the people of Maldon take a proactive role to both promote the town positively and encourage everyone to do their bit to help the local environment. The new design is eye-catching and clearly puts Maldon on the global map’.
The new bags are made from PortaNaturale™, a new (patent pending) natural jute fibre and
rubber laminate, sourced from Kolkata in India by PortaBrands Ltd. The factory that manufactures the bags has passed a comprehensive ethical and quality audit and operates to the demanding standards of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The new reusable shopping bags will retail for £3.
About 13 billion plastic bags are used in the UK every year, which is the equivalent to 30 million bags every day. Most of these end up in landfill and take hundreds if not thousands of years to breakdown. There is another way, but it requires your support and a change of habits by us all.
Please do your bit for Maldon and the environment, say ‘no thanks’ to plastic bags.