Statistics provided by www.charitybags.org reveal that 525,000,000 bags are delivered across Britain annually, amounting to 2,625 tonnes of plastic. Yet given that only 3% of these bags are filled and left out on collection day, 509 million bags (or over 2,500 tonnes) are not used for their intended purpose, they are not even single use.
Such companies distribute small bags with a larger bag inside knowing that the average conversion rate is around 3%. They know that for every 1,000 bags that each person distributes each day, they will collect an average of 30 bags in return, leaving the remaining 970 unused.
Many of the ‘leftovers’ will be disposed of as rubbish and will likely end up
in a landfill site or simply discarded.
Plastics leach into the soil or are washed into the ocean and slowly release toxic chemicals, leading to cancers, birth defects, immune system problems, and childhood developmental issues. The most prevalent concern is the consumption of plastic by animals.
Are there alternatives to plastic bags?
Yes, of course! The alternatives have been there for years.
Leaflets can be used to ask for donations, leaving the donor to use their own bag. Leaflets are biodegradable and decompose naturally without harming the environment in such a devastating way. Companies can also make leaflets much more informative than the average package of plastic bags. The average collection rate for leaflets is slightly lower than it is for bags; however, leaflets are smaller and lighter than bags, and this means that more leaflets can be distributed, covering a larger area for the same price. So, using leaflets can still achieve a similar collection rate.
Self-Adhesive Paper Stickers
We have seen some clever experiments from smaller companies that have distributed stickers for the identification of donations. The benefits of using them are the same as using leaflets, and people can place the sticker on their own bag.
(If companies insist to plastic bags)
'NO CHARITY BAG' door sticker
We are relying heavily on social distancing which makes important to reduce the uninvited visitors on our frontyard. This is why we extended the original design with a NO JUNK MAIL warning.
With your help, we can change the routine and force those companies to use less harmful alternatives.