Change Your Space HQ currently holds over 150 bags for life. This is not because I have started to hoard and covet them, but because I have several clients who have been brave enough to let go of some of their collection so that the bags can be reused.
You may think that sounds strange, being brave to let a supermarket bag go, but they are brave. The humble bag for life is a good example of why you cannot take anything for granted in this job.
I am always keen to see a large bag for life collection in some way scaled down. In my early days a collection of 200 carrier bags could be tamed by squashing them all inside two other carrier bags. But now we have the long-lasting quality bags for life in all types of colour, zip up ones, seasonal ones, novelty bags, and national occasion designs so that they cannot be so easily squished up and certainly not easily turned into bin bags.
We are all becoming super plastic aware now as well. We know the statistics that on average we only recycle one plastic bag in every 200 we use. Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Each plastic bag takes up to 1000 years to decompose. Frightening stuff. My eight year old son wants to grow up and “create a machine that gets rid of all the plastic bags in the sea, and so save the world.” Everyone is feeling embarrassed about our love affair with unnecessary plastic. He has a laudable ambition.
So the bag for life represents all that my clients want; to find sustainable solutions, to not waste anything, and to recycle when possible. For some it represents their interest in colours and spontaneous purchasing, and for some of my clients they want to recycle but their anxiety, or confusion means they end up buying a bag for life at every shopping trip.
I have promised that these bags for life will be well used and recycled. They will be storage solutions for some clients where we must bag up first before we can start a proper sort. Some have been used to encourage parents to buy more books and toys at our local school fund raising fayre (rather than just what they could carry in their two hands). I will make sure they are used and protect us from opting from single use carriers.
The message though is, if you have a bag for life – please take it with you when you go shopping. Put into practice your intent, and save the world…