Breaking our bag habits

Plastic bag monsters descend on Birmingham

We at Lush are very excited to join the coalition for the Break the Bag Habit campaign. It is an issue we have tackled in Lush shops globally with our Bag Monster campaigns in the past, in promoting ‘naked’ products and reducing packaging throughout the business.

At the moment, we offer compostable paper bags made from 100% recycled post-consumer waste and also encourage customers to stow products in their own bags or use a canvas one as an alternative to plastics. The campaign’s focus on a charge fits with our Lush shops experiences in Wales and Ireland, so we are fully aware of the positive impact it could make in England!

Last week, some 90 Lush shops took part in the Break the Bag Habit campaign. Up and down the country, staff were encouraging customers to feed our bag monster bins, support a 5p charge for single-use bags in England and get active in telling the Treasury why it needs to act on this issue.

The biggest campaigning moment so far was travelling to Birmingham and coordinating some 25 Lush bag monsters to descend on the Conservative party conference. Here we met Zac Goldsmith and shared the results of our in-store consultation – with 80% of the 70,000 customers in favour of a 5p charge. As someone attending the day, it was fantastic to see the reactions of passers-by to our huge rustling bag monsters; people were instantly shocked and awed by so much walking waste. The poor council’s litter collector looked very relieved to see us walk on by without dropping anything along the way.

Around the country we also had visits from several other MPs including Caroline Lucas, who met Lush staff in Brighton and heard directly how her constituents felt about the bag problem. We hope the campaign is successful and will be ready to convince the Treasury of its merits again just before the Autumn statement in December.

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