Celebrities throw weight behind ‘plastic bag free’ Olympic Games

High profile names such as David Attenborough, Richard Branson and Vivienne Westwood have announced their support for the Greener upon Thames campaign, which aims to have the London Olympic Games 2012 plastic bag free.

The campaign, launched in November 2010, aims to persuade the Mayor of London and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympics Games (LOGOC) to ban the use of plastic bags at this year’s London Olympic Games.

The campaign has been backed by 50 high profile names including Andrew Lyndsey MBE (Olympic Gold medallist Rowing) and John Sauven (Executive Director of Greenpeace UK). The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has also shown its support.

Dame Vivienne Westwood said: “We can all win a gold medal for the environment by saying no to plastic bags during London 2012 and beyond”.

Sir Richard Branson expressed the importance of the campaign by saying: “Let’s make the Olympics a plastic free zone”.

The two patrons of the campaign, Zac Goldsmith and Roz Savage, hope to achieve the aims by grassroots means, and encourage local residents and small retail businesses to boycott the use of single-use plastic bags and to use long-life bags instead.

The petition, which is key to the campaign, has been signed by thousands of people worldwide.

Greener upon Thames also works to achieve a levy on plastic bags nationwide, due to recent Government figures showing an increase in the usage of plastic bags. The UK alone uses over 13bn plastic bags every year, with only 1 in every 200 being recycled.

In the pitch to LOCOG, the campaign noted that “Banning plastic carrier bags at the London 2012 Olympics is a small but simple step that will send an important message to a convinced but largely disengaged public […] Tackling plastic bags has to be done now, not later.”

Georgie Kleinschmidt

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