The first event to mark the campaign will be a free showing of the critically acclaimed film “Trashed” about how plastics and rubbish is affecting the planet.
Councillor Eva Ward is spearheading the town council initiative called STOP: Stroud Town Opposed to Plastic (bags and packaging).
“Seeing the film was a real wake-up call,’’ said Councillor Ward. “I was devastated to see the permanent impact on the food chain and environment through pollution of our air, land and sea by waste. It made me realise that waste is not someone else’s problem and action is needed urgently by us all’’
“Once you see this film it will change the way you look at the world and how we live,” said Councillor Ward. “It is the reason why I am so passionate about this cause. I was truly devastated to see what we are doing to our world.”
The STOP campaign will raise public awareness of the waste of plastic bags and encourage businesses and supermarkets to offer alternatives such as paper bags, which are biodegradable, or long-life bags.
Businesses are being encouraged to support the campaign.
“We’d like to challenge our three supermarkets to see which one of them will lead this campaign in encouraging people not to use plastic bags,” said Councillor Ward.
Last year, over 17 billion plastic carrier bags were issued by supermarkets in Britain. While they take minutes to use, the bags can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
“We can’t afford to be a throw-away society any longer. We must do something and do it now – not wait until 2015 as the Government suggests,” said Councillor John Marjoram.
The launch follows the Government announcement that it will introduce a 5p charge for every plastic bag from 2015.
“While Nick Clegg’s announcement is welcome, it is too little, too late. Stroud Town Council wants to do something now and want people to support this campaign,” said Councillor Ward.
The film Trashed will be shown on September 29 at Lansdown Hall from 7.00pm. Entrance is free.
Interested people are also welcome to attend the next STOP meeting on October 7 at 7.30pm in the town council offices in London Road.