Who? Ellen Jansen, Environmental Sciences student
What? Hands out sustainable cotton bags in exchange for plastic bags.
Where? A positive way of getting people to use fewer plastic bags.
'For the Empowerment for Sustainability course, we had to carry out individual sustainability projects. I had wanted to do something with plastics all along because I'm very against its use, but I also wanted to be practical and positive about it. I have been using cotton bags myself for many years and I noticed that by doing so I don't use any plastic bags anymore. Also, swapping plastic bags for cotton ones is symbolic: people doing away with an old habit and starting to use something new.'
Are you doing this alone?
'Fortunately, no. The Wageningse Weelde, the umbrella organization of sustainable entrepreneurs in Wageningen, has donated a thousand bags. Of these, 500 will be distributed in their shops. The other half is for me to give away myself.'
Did it catch on?
'You bet! I think I swapped 350 bags in one break. I now have many plastic bags for Albert Heijn's bag container, so people there won't have to use new plastic bags anymore either.'