Offline Campaigning for a Plastic-Free World

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No need for sweet talks or smooth salesman skills to get support from local shops! Take a small step into local food stores for a big step towards sustainability with this sweet simple DIY project ☺

My latest DIY project for Plastic-Free Tuesday: Bulk Baggies. After previous projects of handing out our homemade shopping bags, this is another way of how I put our PFT-mission in practice: inspiring people to reduce plastic consumption and plastic waste! Lots of plastic bags could be avoided by the Bulk Baggies!

So happy we are about our collaboration with Delicious Food. This awesome Amsterdam’ shop is an absolute utopia for plastic-free fans because of their bulk-buying set up. Some regular customers bring their own jars, containers, sacks, and other sweet storage supplies.

For the bulk buying-newbies in the shop: there are now Bulk Baggies: to store nuts, dried fruits, coffee beans, brown beans, broad beans and other deliciousness in the shop. (Told ya!, it’s an utopia!)

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Read How to Get The Bulk Baggies in Your Local Shops Here

How to bring your homemade Bulk Baggies to your local shops?

1. Collect (old) fabrics
Ask friends and family or use social media to reach sympathetic strangers. There are plenty local Facebook groups where lovely active citizens are keen to help out. Post a call for fabrics-donations. Feel free to refer to the Plastic Free Tuesday website or FB page! Otherwise, check thrift stores for old lace curtains, this is light fabric, very suitable for the Bulk Baggies.

2. Make the Bulk Baggies
The Bulk Baggies are very very DIY proof! Even if you never sewed before: you can do this! It is like a marble bag, a simple drawstring bag. Make it by hand or use a machine. There are plenty of examples online. Lots of sewing princesses share their DIY projects with detailed footage on Pinterest. Voila, for example here!

3. Find local stores with a bulk buying option
Maybe the local eco store, small grocer, market stalls with nuts or herbs, Asian supermarkets, etcetera? Any shop with bulk buying option, is a pretty perfect prospect!

4. Talk to the manager/shop owner
No need for sweet talks or smooth salesman skills to get support from local shops! The Plastic Free-story is sweet by itself for shop-owners to support. Tell them about Plastic-Free Tuesday, the cons of plastic and the pros of the Bulk Baggies in their shop. Take your homemade Bulk Baggies along to show them.

Also, think about an attractive display for the Bulk Baggies. This would be a bonus for the shop! Maybe a big jar? Best if it is something non-plastic of course ☺

Also, we’d love to share the details of the shop with our followers on Facebook! So besides an extra awesome product in their shop, they will get free publicity!

Ask for contact details of the manager, email is best, to send the shop-owner/manager some more information about Plastic-Free Tuesday. This gives them some time to think about your proposal.

5. Make a clear agreement with the shop
The shopowner/manager approved? Awesome! When will you bring the Bulk Baggies? How many? It is good to start with a small amount as a trial. I started with 10 pieces. In case you made some costs for making the Bulk Baggies, it’s not a bad idea to ask for a small compensation to cover the costs.

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Anyway, have fun and be confident ☺ We of PFT love you for your effort and support! Thank you so much. We are super happy that there are so many of you who care. Together we can make a difference. Let us know if your sweet Bulk Baggies made it into a store and we happily share your story and photos!

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About Author

Gerda

Homemade pumpkin soup, any cooking by her sister Annemieke, hard rubbish, exotic markets, traintrips, obscure records and a million other things make Gerda very happy. The opposite counts for pollution and unfair treatment of our planet. Therefore Plastic-Free Tuesday is one of those things that Gerda happily included in her never ending to-live-for-list. She is a fulltime treehugger with an extra mission on Tuesdays. And that again makes her very very happy. Gerda is based in the Netherlands where she is in charge of developing the offline PFT reusable bag campaign for which she sews bags out of donated, second-hand fabric. She also writes blogs and acts as communication adviser.

3 Comments

  1. Great work, Gerda! I have a ton of old bed sheets and material that I am saving to make some of these bags. But the idea of sewing them by hand scares me. So I’m on a mission to find a volunteer with a sewing machine who’d be interested in joining this project with me. Fingers crossed!

    • Annemieke

      I tried to sew my own shopping bags with a machine that I borrowed. However, I wasn’t particularly good at it, which frustrated me. By the time I had to return the machine, I had only a couple of unfinished bags! Such a disappointment. We’re considering to launch the Boomerang Bags concept here. Maybe something for you too? http://boomerangbags.org/

      • Marlies

        Haha, that’s one of those really nice unexpected side effects of trying to live more sustainably I think, getting inspired to pick up som long-forgotten and old-fashioned, but oh so valuable, house hold skills, such as sewing, clothes mending etc. 🙂

        I have tried out my machine and liked it, but still have to find a moment to actually get make some bags! 🙂 Annemiek, you know my new resolutions included making you some bags as well 🙂

        Marlies

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