Richmond-upon-Thames is Going Plastic-Free

Kew goes plastic-bag-freeRichmond traders and residents are campaigning to end the use of plastic bags for shopping in the borough.

You Can Help

• Get a reusable shopping bag - you can buy one of the Greener Kew ones from a local trader if you need one
• Express your support for the campaign to local traders
• Encourage traders who haven't pledged yet to take part

You can share your comments and ideas here on this blog - Keep it clean if not Green!

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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

All I want for Christmas is Kew!

Remove the drudgery of Christmas Shopping by going local!

From turkeys to trees, from balloons to books, from cakes to cards, from music to mince pies - everything on your doorstep!

Shop in Kew this Christmas:
- for a wide range of choice
- to talk to people who are passionate and knowledgeable
- to protect local character and prosperity
- to reduce congestion and pollution
- and to support the Greener Kew campaign!

- Andrew Davis and Kew Frame on Mortlake Terrace
- Kew Gallery on Sandycombe Road

- Lloyd's of Kew Booksellers on Mortlake Terrace
- Kew Bookshop on Station Approach

- Mind Your Step on Kew Plaza
- Ceramics Cafe on Mortlake Terrace
- La Boheme and Kitten to Cat on Sandycombe Road
- Mia Wood on Station Parade
- Sonya on Station Approach

- Kew Gardener on Station Parade
- P&M Flowers on Station Approach
- Zita Elze on Sandycombe Road

- Fabrique on Kew Green

- ABC Music on Station Approach
- Chandler Guitars on Sandycombe Road

- Eye Kew Opticians on Station Approach

- Kew Gardener on Station Parade

- Maids of Honour on Kew Road
- Oliver's Wholefoods on Station Approach
- Pether Butcchers on Station Parade

- Earthlife in the Kew Bridge Arches
- Heavenly Green on Kew Green
- Oliver's Therapy Rooms on Station Approach

... and remeber to bring your shopping bag!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Knitting for Tree Huggers

Although its not to do with plastic bags, I liked this and you might too.

Knit for the Trees

The Woodland Trust are promoting a lovely scarf you can knit yourself, that doubles up as a way to measure ancient trees and help them build a record of where they are. The idea is that you use the scarf to measure the tree's girth and send them info if its big enough to count as 'Ancient'.
Perhaps we could do this in Kew - anyone know of some big old trees to measure? Oaks, beech, that sort of thing.

I suspect due to Christmas overeating I will also classify as an Ancient Tree. Hopefully all that knitting will help to burn up some energy. Plastic bags can be used as yarn , so we could actually use up old bags with this.

Get the scarf pattern here:

Friday, 7 November 2008

Greener Kew in the The Green

This months The Green magazine features Greener Kew in a double page spread and cover story.

Very nice.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Tesco Are At It Again

Tesco are claiming they will only hand out plastic bags to people who ask for one, but I was in there the other night and the guy had one ready before I was at the till.

I dont think they are really serious about it, just looking for publicity.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Let's make Kew even greener!

Most independent traders in Kew have said goodbye to plastic bags - but there is more we can do!

I think that ZWIN, the Zero Waste Initiative for Local Business, could help:

"ZWIN aims to help organisations in the borough of Richmond to develop sound environmental policies in order to reduce energy and water consumption, reduce waste production, encourage recycling and the efficient use of resources. This is achieved through free environmental assessments, which are carried out on-site by trained volunteers. Where ZWIN's recommendations are put into practice, organisationss can benefit from reduced operating costs and improved environmental performance."

Sheen Lane Centre
74 Sheen Lane
London SW14 8LP
020 8831 6142

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Debate on plastic bags

The pros and cons of banning the bag are discussed noce a clearly on this BBC article

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Ideas for plastic bag recycling

Plastic is an amazing material - that is why it is so incredibly popular across the world.
It's cheap, waterproof, light and incredibly hard-wearing - which is precisely why its so problematic when it gets into wild places.

So why throw it away? OK they are a bit ugly especially when they have been in a cupboard for a few weeks all crumpled up. But with a bit of ingenuity you can make them into our own custom bag-for-life. Or all sorts of other useful things. And although you might think you don't have time for some of these tricks, in fact its very easy to knit or sew in front of the television on on a train.

Here's some great ideas:

Have fun - and send us pictures of your plastic bag projects!!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Party Started

Last night we had a super launch party in Kew Village.

Baroness Tonge was late due to delays on the tube, but she spoke as did Susan Kramer MP, the Mayor of Richmond, and Zac Goldsmith as well.

There was a great turn out and fab weather, drinks from Olivers, coffee from Starbucks and snacks from Ma Cuisine,

We raised at least £500 towards the £1500 we need to cover costs of things like printing the bags and stickers, information and so on.

Greener Kew bags were much in evidence and Kew Gardens put some of tehir new paper bags on display.

Mike Glazebrook made a good point - that we need to stop using disposable bags at all. Even using paper and cornstarch, while they are better in that they can rot away quickly, still has a high environmental impact. Zac made the point that average disposable bag has a use lifetime of around 20 minutes, which represents simply a crazy waste of resources.

A good number of people in kew now will be aware of the campagin and we wonder how well it lasts. In six months time, will we back to old habits or is this the start of a lasting change?

And what other things can we do to make Kew Greener?? Tell us on the comments!

Greener Kew on BBC 1 London News

Greener Kew's launch party was covered by the BBC news and will be showing after the ten o clock news tonight.

I am very excited cos this is my first logo to appear on television! :-)

Monday, 30 June 2008

More local press coverage

The BBC will be covering this evening's party and interviewing traders tomorrow morning as well.

National Archives Pledge Support

The National Archives is committed to supporting the Greener Kew Campaign and will no longer offer customers plastic bags in its shop, opting for recycled paper bags instead. Customers requesting a more substantial bag will be given a plastic bag only while the small quantity of existing stock lasts. In the future we plan to offer a Fairtrade cotton bag for sale. We are also exploring more environmentally-friendly alternatives to the clear plastic bags currently used in our reading rooms.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

There's Going to be a Party and Everyone's Invited

Greener Kew is having a launch party on Monday June 30th from 7pm, to launch a plastic-bag- free village.

And everyone's invited!

Various bags and information will be available and Zac Goldsmith, Susan Kramer MP and Baroness Jenny Tonge will be there to give speeches.

The lovely banner is made by the kids of Kew College.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Another Kew Trader joins in

La Boheme is a romantic and cosy boutique specialising in vintage home accessories. The distinctive Belgian charm with abundance of colours and rare items is what sets us apart.

Shopping in La Boheme feels like a treasure hunt, with crystal candleholders, cherub figurines, vintage clocks and everything else just scattered all over the place, because a home is like that - things are all around the house, with one photo frame displayed on the mantelpiece and the other next to the bed just for you to glance before going to sleep...

We do not believe in overpricing but we do believe in high quality and excellent customer service. So, visit us and experience your own treasure hunt.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Latest headlines

Kew has got the attention of London's press, and so has Tesco...

Read the story in Evening Standard

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Greenfest West London 15th June

There is a Greenfest  taking place in Furnivall Gardens by the river in Hammersmith from 1pm - 5pm this Sunday. 

Both a lovely way to spend an afternoon beside the river, and a chance to find out about and become involved in some environmental stuff and the community.

Around 50 environmental groups will be present. Your chance to find out about campaign groups and become involved in organic and wildlife gardening, composting, eco-living, recycling and saving energy, solar heating, cycling and other greener ways of getting around. 

Sounds like good fun for all the family!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Ban the Bag Bill in London

The London Local Authorities (Shopping Bags) Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament, will bring about a ban on single-use throwaway shopping bags in London.

Londoners throw away more than 1 billion shopping bags a year, often after using them just once. Many of these can take up to 400 years to breakdown and can harm both wildlife and the environment.

If passed, the Bill will bring about a ban on single-use throwaway shopping bags in the capital.

The interesting thing about this campaign is that it targets not plastic bags but single-use bags. In other words, its the throwaway concept that is under attack, and in my view, rightly so. There are many fancy paper bags that are designed for single-use and that also has a very negative impact through energy and resource waste.

You can contact your MP to ask them to support the bill.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Original Maids of Honour

The famous Maids of Honour tea rooms on the Kew Road have pledged their support to the campaign. We also discovered they've recently started using free range chicken only in the pies, in response to the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver 'Chicken Out' campaign. They are also reviewing other areas of the business to see how they can improve their ecological profile.

And most importantly of all, they do delicious cakes.

Visit their website to find out more about the Original Maids of Honour.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Earthlife Pledges Support

Earthlife is a unique and tranquil facility in the arches of Kew Bridge, where emphasis is placed on Fitness, Health and Wellbeing. Our aim is to provide a personal and holistic approach to fitness and wellbeing in a place of calm and relaxation.

We offer a wide range of Complementary Therapies, Beauty Treatments and Workshops, as well as Fitness Classes for adults, teens and children, with no membership or joining fees.

On our website,, you can read more about what we offer and if you are not sure which treatment or class would be best for you, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help you find the right one for you.

Earthlife Wellbeing & Fitness
Arch 2, Kew Bridge Arches
Richmond, TW9 3AW

Tel: 020 8940 0888

Friday, 23 May 2008

Oliver's Therapy Rooms pledge their support

Oliver’s Therapy Rooms provide an opportunity to reawaken your vitality and help to calm and soothe your mind and body. The same ethos which has made Oliver’s Wholefood Store a vital part of the Kew Community extends to the Therapy Rooms.

If you want to be pampered and de-stressed we have a wide range of massages, facials, waxing and beauty treatments to choose from.

We also offer an excellent range of complementary therapies such as homeopathy, acupuncture, kinesiology, refelexology, counseling, craniosacral therapy and rolfing.

Our staff are happy to advise you on which treatment might be best suited to your situation or problem.

Call us on 020 8948 2200 or email You can check out our website at

Friday, 16 May 2008

Dry cleaning alternatives to plastic wraps

The Modbury site links to a Google group that discusses going plastic-free. 

I found a topic there about replacing plastic covers in the dry cleaning business which is so heavily reliant on plastic.

Kew Frame - Fine Framing with Flair

Florence Nielsen of Kew Frame is also supporting a Greener Kew!

Having practised fine art framing in both Brussels and London, Florence creates some of the best frames in London at local prices. Visit her at her fascinating workshop close to Kew Green for:
  •  A large range of hight quality moulding: platinum, gilded, silvered, painted, stained, distressed, wood and more
  • A very wide range of mounts which can be used to create specific styles: traditional, rustic, contemporary, box style
  • Glass: standard, museum, non reflective, mirror, perplex
  • Restoration services for oils, prints, watercolours and frames
  • Friendly, professional service and advice
  • A selection of paintings, prints and cards for sale
Kew Frame
8 Mortlake Terrace
Kew Green 

020 8296 8999

Opening Hours:
Tue - Fri 9.30 - 17.30
Sat 9.00 - 17.00

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Kew Bookshop Pledges to Ban the Bag

Kew Bookshop in Kew Village by Victoria Messel
We are delighted to add that Kew Bookshop have pledged their support for a Greener Kew, promising to end plastic bags from July 1st.

If you are a trader in Kew and are interested in participating, email us for information or ask for an information pack at Robbins' hardware store by Kew Gardens Station.

About Kew Bookshop
Kew Bookshop has been serving the local community for nearly two decades. We are a small, friendly family-run bookshop with a strong emphasis on children’s books, book-related gifts and greetings cards. We have a large range of adult titles including fiction, travel, cookery and history. One of the highlights of the shop is the recommended reading section which is full of books read and enjoyed by staff members – this means we have a more diverse and interesting range than many other shops. If you want some personalised advice on what to buy just ask – we are always happy to help.

Kew Bookshop
1-2 Station Approach
Surrey TW9 3QB
Tel: 020 8940 0030
Email :

Painting by Victoria Messel

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Mia Wood joins greener Kew

Mia Wood is delighted to be a part of a Greener Kew. If you are looking for something special Mia sells a unique range of jewellery, handbags, accessories and homewards at her flagship store in the heart of Kew Gardens Village. Alternatively you can visit our website for a range of products, or the new store on Ham Parade, Petersham.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

completely rubbish free??

A couple in New Zealand are going to try living a year without producing ANY rubbish for landfill.

Anyone wanting to go further than the plastic bag ban - start here!

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Sustainable Communities Act

An interesting Act that could affect Greener Kew:

Here is some background to it,

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Logo agreed

The meeting on Saturday was useful and a logo design was agreed upon for the campaign, which will go on the cotton bags that are intended for retailers to seel. They are also potentially going to be distributed to residents, depending on the council's decision on funding which is due in the next few days.

The logo could also be used to make window stickers, reminder notes for people to put on the fridge or front door, and whatever else we come up with.

The design is by local Sarah Dixon of Spider Creative.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Recyclable, Recycled, Degradable, Biodegradable, Compostable

As the green idea is gathering momentum, plenty of companies try to look "green" without really changing a thing. Where plastic carrier bags are concerned, you can find all sorts of claims on them to lure you into thinking that your supermarket is doing something - it's most likely to be very little if anything at all.

Some bags read RECYCLABLE. Hah! Nearly everything is recyclable, but it needs to be collected, it needs to be clean, it needs to be sorted and so on. Plastic bags are, of course, theoretically recyclable but unfortunately 99% of them are not being recycled. So much for that.

Then, some bags contain RECYCLED plastic, varying from "contains a proportion of recycled material", to 20% or 33%, perhaps more. That is a step in the right direction, but the problems of plastic bags littering our environment and clogging our landfill sites remain.

Some plastic bags (the co-op uses them now, except, of course the co-op in plastic-bag-free Modbury), are DEGRADABLE. These are still petroleum based, see below, but will degrade in about three years or so. That's certainly better than floating about for 500 years! Again, a step, but not enough.

I think that if we have to use disposable bags at all, they ought to be BIODEGRADABLE / COMPOSTABLE. This means that they decompose into natural matter in a matter of months, some might need longer on a domestic compost heap. Corn starch bags fit the bill as well as unbleached paper bags.

There is lots more bag info to be found on the Modbury website.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Campaign featured on BBC London!

Our campaign has featured on BBC London radio!

We were interviewed during the Breakfast Show on Thursday 17th April. The show is now offline. Keep watching this blpg to stay up to date with press coverage.

Meeting for Kew Traders Saturday 19th 9am

There will be a meeting in Kew for traders, to find out how they can stop using plastic bags.

The meeting is to be held on Saturday 19th at 9am. If you can't make it, please let us know by sending a comment on this post. We can then get in touch with you and keep you informed.

Lots of traders are concnerned that they need plastic bags for their customers. The idea of the meeting is to suggest the alternatives and give information eg pricing, availability etc.

The main alternatives proposed are to use cornstarch instead of plastic, and paper bags.

Another BBC link on plastic bags: Newsnight

Newsnight last night had a piece by the head of Sainsbury's about reducing use of plastic bags.

When the chap came onto the show, he was quizzed by Paxo about food waste but didn't want to accept any responsibility for that one.

Maybe that's something for Kew to get its teeth into in the next round!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Adding to the Debate...or Complicating matters?

I found this on a news item:

"As though the paper-or-plastic question weren't vexing enough, now some retailers are finding that the "biodegradable" plastic bags they'd hoped would please green shoppers might not be so Earth-friendly after all.

"Lunds and Byerly's recently replaced its plastic bags with a biodegradable bag made of low-density polyethylene that purportedly breaks down when exposed to sunlight, oxygen, soil, moisture and microbes.

"But biodegradable bags are still petroleum-based, and while they do break down into smaller particles, chemicals eventually show up in the food chain and our bodies, according to Susan Hubbard, CEO of Eureka Recycling in Minneapolis. And it's unclear whether biodegradable bags can be recycled."

Read the full story

I think they are talking about 'degradable' bags but this isn't the cornstarch ones.

It seems to me that the most eco-friendly option of all would be to get a basket your grandmother made from old clothes or a willow tree and use it every time you go shopping.

Disposable stuff, even if it is compostable, is much more energy-demanding and rubbish-generating than things that can be used over and over again for years.

Of course most people would probably say that some things have to be disposable, but is that really true? Its all about how much work we are prepared to put in to compensate for the disposability of stuff. Its a real tedious thing to have to wash out and carry reusable pots to carry fresh fish home. Where does the line lie? Will it move as resources become scarcer?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Greener Kew on Google maps

You can view a Google map of all the shops and outlets participating in this campaign, on the marvellous Google, here.

The map will be continually updated by participants so you can get the latest on which shops have joined in and stopped giving plastic bags to customers.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Local press - Rich & Twick Times

The local paper has featured the campaign already: Read the article online here

and let us know your comments!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

A greener kew starts without plastic bags

Kew traders have got together with the Kew Society to start the process of banning the plastic from all Kew shops and stores.

The launch date - when Kew goes plastic-bag-free - is July 1st.

Even the Kew Tesco is involved.

So make sure you yourself a sturdy cotton, jute or even and old plastic bag - just don't expect to be given one if you go shopping in Kew after July 1st.