Calling All Armchair Activists!

We really don't need to be wrapped in plastic thank you very much!

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Ok – the cat is out of the bag…my master plan has been revealed in a blog post (see the excerpt from the ‘Kitchen‘ chapter).

I am waging a war against the hefty retailers, supermarkets in particular, and I want ‘you’ to sign up as trusty warriors – but we’ll be using words, not swords and you know what ‘they’ say about that…



True, This! –
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! – itself a nothing! –
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless!Take away the sword
States can be saved without it!”

(Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy.)

On the last page of the sneak preview of my ‘Kitchen chapter, you will have seen one of my ‘Letters for Change’.  It’s laid out like an email in the book. There are several ‘Letters for Change’ dotted throughout the book, but this one is my favourite.

This ‘Letter for Change’ calls for the store in question to provide their customers with receptacles so they can deposit unwanted, superfluous packaging.  Ideally, there would be one for cardboard, one for plastic and anything else would be a bonus! 

It would allow you to leave behind those plastic four-pack holders for cat food or beans, the cardboard wrapper that holds your yoghurts and the irritating cellophane that embraces your cucumber.

I urge you to copy it out adding the details of your local stores, MP, BBC radio stations etc, speak to your friends about it too, seek their support, then post or email your correspondence to the relevant parties.

Depending upon their response, you might like to take things on a stage further – see below.

You see, you are not legally obliged to take any of this packaging home with you and you have a perfect right to leave it at the point of sale.

My hopes with this exercise are simple; optimistic, but simple.


  1. The stores in question should accept their corporate social responsibility for thoughtful recycling of this unwanted and very often superfluous packaging, by giving their customers receptacles to deposit it in, at the point of sale.
  2. If not, they might face a wave of disgruntled customers, who exercised their right to leave said packaging at the till, for the store staff to organise a swift disposal of, which I suspect might cause a kafuffle, (especially if there were a dozen people doing synchronised unwrapping at several tills at the same time – not a suggestion, just a thought…).
  3. If this were to become a ‘bit of a faff’, I suspect the retailers would soon tire of their customers kicking back and saying ‘NO’ to the excess packaging on their goods; particularly once they realise they are paying over the top of the price of the produce, just to take the wrapping home and throw in the bin! 
  4. Further, the retailers might eventually reconsider the products they stock and give the consumers what many of them want – their goods without all of the wrap!


To effect positive change on a national scale is clearly an enormous undertaking, but I’m not a girl to aim low. 

I truly believe we consumers have the ability to make ourselves clearly heard and we can make the retailers rethink their environmental policies in favour of their customers. 

If we are to make a ripple in the pond of our modern culture, we are going to have to pull together, get support from our friends and neighbours, get writing, carry out our action and cause a little organised chaos!

Who’s in?

Rubbishly yours,


Find your Member of Parliament.

Find your local BBC Radio station.

PS: Environmental policies?  Let’s see them in action!


Marks & Spencer