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Bags for Better Lives


Sustainable Merton member Mariana Cervantes-Burchill coordinated our first big project: Bags for Better Lives. We knocked on 3,000 doors in Wimbledon Park to deliver a sponsored cotton shopping bag.


We did not ask for money, only that residents should try to remember to use the bag to:


  • help reduce our reliance on oil based products

  • protect the environment

  • cut business costs

  • control litter and waste

The team also approached local shops.... If their customers had been given re-usable shopping bags, then we hoped the shops would feel justified in not giving out free plastic ones so readily. They would also be asked if they wanted to sponsor the project – in return their name would be printed on the bags.


It was the first time this sort of project had been tried in London.  


What sort of reception would they get? In the event, Sustainable Merton was overwhelmed by the amount of support and encouragement they were offered...


  • many local traders sponsor the bags

  • the Co-op in Arthur Road sponsored a whole bag of their own, allowing Sustainable Merton to deliver two bags per household.

  • Merton Council gave us time and money

  • Wimbledon Park and Bishop Gilpin Schools and the Wimbledon Park Residents’ Association all pitched in and the local Guardian covered the project from start to finish.

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