Wise Up To Waste Logo
Wise Up to Waste Logo


Bag yourself a freebie

November 7 2017
Bag yourself a free reusable bag when you go shopping over the next few weeks thanks to a swap shop exchange programme run by North London Waste Authority. Some 21 local businesses across north London, from florists to footwear shops and organic whole food stores to pet food suppliers have signed up to the Wise up to Waste ‘Bag it up + Reuse’ project, which encourages residents to swap their old plastic bags for a new reusable bag.

The initiative has been designed to help reduce the amount of plastic carriers bags that are thrown away, and in particular bags that are only used once. Participating retailers in north London have been provided with 250 reusable bags. The nifty navy-coloured bags, which fold up into a small pouch, are offered to customers in exchange for a used plastic bag. The shop will then store the old bags for NLWA to collect at the end of the project.

Customers who get into the habit of using reusable bags can also save money when the carrier bag charge comes into force in the autumn, when the government’s 5p charge  for plastic bags comes into force, but this does not include small businesses. NLWA has developed this project to encourage customers of smaller shops to reuse their bags and helps businesses save money by them not having to purchase plastic bags.

Participating shop owner, Edna Kim, of Petals in Bloom florist, Walthamstow, was one of the first to sign up to the scheme. She said:

“I think the Bag it up and Reuse project is a great idea. It means I can save money on buying carrier bags for my customers and I’m doing my bit to reduce the amount of bags thrown away. It’s a win:win!” 
If 1% of north London households start using reusable bags as a result of wider promotion of the project, 7.7 tonnes of waste could be diverted from disposal in a year. 

So, come along to one of our participating ‘swap shops’ to swap your old plastic bag for a reusable one – but you better hurry, as when they’re gone, they’re gone!

More information on our Bag it up + Reuse project here.