Morsbags Guerilla Bagging
Move over environmentally unsound polyethylene carrier bags and ‘I am Not a Plastic bag’ eat your heart out – although designer reusable totes are eco-friendly and very chic indeed, there’s a new fad on the scene, and it’s known as guerrilla bagging.
The people involved in this eco-crusade are using the most peaceful and productive guerrilla tactics around to take matters of excess plastic bag waste into their own hands. No longer content to sit back and watch careless rubbish disposal destruction wreak havoc on our environment, the Morsbags team aims to eradicate the modern shoppers’ perceived need for disposable plastic carriers through the power of handmade cotton bags.
Morsbags consists of a network of socially minded people who form into groups known as ‘pods’. They get together as and when they can, and sew together old and unused pieces of material such as curtains and duvet covers, creating reusable bags which they then distribute guerrilla-style to those who don’t even necessarily know that they are in need.
The network started small but is growing exponentially. They were unknown to us until recently, but then a batch of these handy homemade shopping bags was delivered to us personally and our voyage of discovery began. It’s the sad environmental facts which can’t help but attract your attention and sympathy to begin with. According to Morsbags statistics over one million plastic bags are consumed per minute globally, and government agency DEFRA calculated that back in September 2000, UK consumers were using 8 billion in a year – a frightening number, especially when it’s considered how many are disposed of irresponsibly, polluting our environment and being eaten by wildlife who mistake them for food.
One of the frustrations cited by Morsbags’ originator Clare Morsman is that although supermarkets and politicians have registered that plastic bags create a problem, in reality it will take them years to sort it out. So if you believe that changes are required, then direct action is needed. We all need to take things into our own hands as is fitting with the old saying – ‘if you want something doing, do it yourself!’ Part of the beauty of this campaign is that anyone can indeed ‘do it themself’ – everyone can make Morsbags, and every Morsbag makes a difference. A Morsbag can be used instead of a plastic bag every time, and if you’ve got even the smallest bit of time to spare, you can check out their website and form your own pod – making your own Morsbags will put you at the centre of this worthwhile venture.
If you need further evidence that Morsbags is making an impact, their website keeps an up to date count on exactly how many pods have been formed and the number of bags which have been hand sewn by their members – 448 pods have been created this year so far, and a total of 31,650 bags have been made to date – an impressive number by anyone’s standards.
Although the main premise of guerrilla bagging centres around the idea of it being surprise action, a quick trawl around the internet has tipped me off that the next mass hand out is scheduled for the
19th 29th November in time to combat all of those Christmas shopping carrier bags. However, here at Ethical Superstore HQ we also have an enormous pile of these colourful and individually unique cotton carriers that need to be dispersed to happy homes. In the Morsbag spirit of covert distribution, these bags will be placed at random into some of the customers orders packaged up in our warehouse over the next few weeks. It’s going to be a guerrilla bagging lucky dip, so if you place an order soon keep your fingers crossed, one may find its way into your parcel!
If you’re not fortunate enough to open up your box and find a Morsbag inside, then all is not lost. Here at Ethical Superstore we believe strongly in the anti-plastic bag revolution, and we’ve got a variety of shopping bags and totes that remove the need for disposable carriers during your weekly food run or Christmas shopping expeditions. There are various towns around the country which are leading the way – Modbury in Devon was the first totally plastic bag free community, and the forward thinking inhabitants of Greenhead, Northumberland decided to exchange disposable bags for reuseable ones recently. There are many other examples of this kind of action around the country, and hopefully the trend will keep on spreading.
So embrace the Morsbags philosophy and ditch the plastic. Here at Ethical Superstore we think it’s a great idea.