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Kids’ grand designs on tackling plastic waste in Roman Road

Students at four schools have been creating a series of designs to be used on reusable bags to help reduce the use of plastic shopping bags in Roman Road.

The council and community group Plastic Free Roman Road partnered up for the ‘borrow-a-bag’ scheme, which will see businesses handing out upcycled fabric bags made by members of the public for free.

Councillor Sirajul Islam, Statutory Deputy Mayor, said: “It was fantastic to see the designs created by the talented students at our four schools. This is the first scheme of its kind in Tower Hamlets, focusing on a vibrant high street with a large number of independent family-run businesses. It is vital that young people are on board with sustainability schemes which will impact their future.”

The scheme will allow shoppers to borrow a fabric bag for free from shops rather than take their shopping home in a single-use plastic bag.

The children – from Rachel Keeling Nursery, Globe School, Bangabandhu School and Morpeth School – designed logos that promote the vibrant high street, shopping locally and the environment.

Cllr Sirajul Islam congratulated the students on their creations at a viewing at Bangabandhu School on 17 July.

Lizzy Mace from Plastic Free Roman Road said: “The scheme will provide customers with a reusable alternative that they can borrow and bring back the next time they pass – making re-use just as convenient as single-use currently is. This could eliminate the need to provide single-use options, saving local businesses money at the same time as protecting our environment.

“We hope the borrow-a-bag scheme will encourage people to notice other ways we can share or borrow from each other to reduce waste in other places. It could be the start of a local sharing revolution.”

The bags will be available to borrow from participating high street shops in the autumn, with Simply Fresh (pictured) on Roman Road, one of the first businesses to sign up to the scheme.