Permaculture supports the call for a plastic-bag-free Olympics

Greener Upon Thames
Thursday, 26th July 2012

Today 50 global and local leaders, including Sir David Attenborough, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Zac Goldsmith MP and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have joined forces with Greener upon Thames calling for a plastic bag free London 2012, urging all of us to say no to plastic bags during London 2012. We also offer five top permaculture ways to enjoy the Olympics and its legacy.

The Olympic Games provide an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm throwing plastic waste away at major events, or in our everyday lives, actually does.

Sir Richard Branson says "Let's make the Olympics a plastic bag free zone"

Zac Goldsmith, co-Patron of Greener Upon Thames, says: "Plastic bags cause immense damage throughout the world, and absolutely symbolise the mindlessness of our throwaway society. Visitors to the Olympics have an opportunity to show that life without throwaway bags is perfectly possible."

Dame Vivienne Westwood: 'We can all win a gold medal for the environment by saying no to plastic bags during London 2012 and beyond.'

Bill McKibben, author: 'Somehow the ancient Greeks managed to hold the Olympics successfully without plastic bags; let's hope London emulates their example, and earns a medal in sustainability.' 







Greener Upon Thames Campaign
Greener Upon Thames is a London based grass roots not for profit environmental organisation campaigning for a plastic bag ban at the Olympics and a levy on plastic bags in England, where recent Government figures show plastic bag usage is on the increase.

Greener's campaign to ban plastic bags at London 2012 was launched in November 2010 by its two Patrons, Zac Goldsmith MP and ocean rower/environmentalist Roz Savage (National Geographic Adventurer of the Year – 2010). The campaign is backed by celebrities including Sir Richard Branson, Jeff Bridges and organisations including the Plastic Pollution Coalition, the Marine Conservation Society, thousands of London residents and has worldwide support via a petition.

Greener fears that the 'first sustainable Games' could distribute hundreds of thousands of throwaway plastic bags, which would be carried around the world, creating a global problem, and shaming the British capital.

Plastic Pollution Action is being taken all over the world to reduce the negative environmental impact of plastic bag consumption: Italy introduced a ban in January 2012 and Ireland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all legislated against single-use carrier bags. While an individual bag may appear inconsequential, we use over 8 billion each year in the UK alone, and this number is increasing. Their accumulation in vast numbers and inability to degrade creates an escalating problem in our oceans and across our countryside. Worryingly, there is also growing evidence to suggest they are entering our food chain: plastic leaches chemicals and also acts as a sponge for toxic chemicals like PCBs from the ocean, passing them up the food chain. 

Permacultue Magazine reccommends 5 permaculture ways for you to enjoy the games:

1. Join the London Permaculture Network and be part of a real lasting legacy for the city.

2. Be inspired and take up cycling as your means of transport. Or switch to supporting a local sports team rather than travelling to support a bigger team just because they're famous. 

3. Build community by watching the games with friends and neighbours. Gathering means you can switch off two or three tv sets and enjoy the games together.

4. Have you seen the Olympic Velodrome? An inspirational piece of sustainable architecture. How about getting together with your community and greening your neighbourhood? If you live in flats or apartments look into greening your roof or vertical gardening. 

5. Pick a country or lesser known event and follow their progress. Perhaps go on to sponsor a community from a Latin American or African country with a subscription to Permaculture Magazine (we have special packages for them - give us a call on 01730 823 311 for further details), helping them to be part of the growing international permaculture movement?

mth420 |
Mon, 30/07/2012 - 11:29

I attended my first event yesterday at St. James Park, Newcastle for the football. In the spirit of security , everyone was being provided with small, clear bags to put your belongings into. Mobiles, keys, pocket change, etc. Visitors with larger bags/rucksacks where provided with huge plastic bags that were sealed with a cable tie. 26,800 attended one event... if this is the standard procedure for every event, I can't begin to imagine how many bags will be used by end of the games. There has to be a better way.