Levy on single-use plastic bags comes into effect

From tomorrow, 5 October, shoppers in England will be charged 5 pence for single-use plastic bags, as part of a government effort to reduce litter and protect wildlife. The charge will be applied in large shops and supermarkets with 250 or more employees. The government reportedly expects the charge to reduce the use of plastic bags in supermarkets by up to 80% and up to 50% in high street shops. It also expects to save £60 million in litter clean-up costs.

So don’t forget to bring your BRAG bag (and other reusable bags, of course) when you’re out shopping! You’ll save money while helping safeguard the environment.

BRAG members Hugh and Douglas show off our bags

BRAG members Hugh and Douglas show off our bags

Celebrate the 5th annual Abundance Fruit Day with Abundance London

Join Abundance London on 4 October at St. Michael’s and All Angels Church in Chiswick for Abundance Fruit Day, the group’s annual celebration (its 5th) of apples, pears, quince and other fruit collected from the streets and gardens of West London. Abundance says the 2015 harvest is apparently the best in 30 years.

Come along and buy some fruit and enjoy fresh apple juice – made on the group’s huge apple press – as well as artisan jams and preserves, and kids’ fruity crafts, courtesy of St Michael’s and All Angels.

You can stock up on fruit bushes and vines, and buy local honey from Mel the Bee. Also on offer will be top-quality Cultivate London herbs and plants, traditional games with a twist, like apple bobbing, longest apple peel competition, smoothie pedal bike and William Tell slack-lining (tightrope with apple on head).

This year Abundance is introducing Sipsmiths tipples (it has been supplying its local distillery with delicious natural infusions such as mulberries), and Chiswick’s Cabin restaurant is preparing a special local lunch. Hot drinks will also be available.

Students at the Hogarth School have been picking fruit for a month and they will showcase their cakes, crumbles and toffee apples.

See you there!

5th Abundance Fruit Day
Date: Sunday, 4 October
Time: 12.30-4pm
Place: St. Michael’s and All Angels Church, Bath Road, Chiswick W4 1TT
(Around the corner from the Turnham Green Underground Station)

Restart party in Uxbridge on 19 September

The Rubbish Diet Team will be in Uxbridge tomorrow, Saturday, 19 September, to host Hillingdon’s first-ever restart party.

Come join the team in the Pavilions Shopping Centre, Chequers Square, Uxbridge, UB8 1LN from 11am-2pm and learn to fix your broken electronics, bikes or clothes. Mend your broken ceramics, toys and much more at the Sugru table.

Got skills and knowledge? Could you come help others learn to repair?

Or just come and celebrate repair and meet others who like making do and mending.

The event is part of the Festival of Repair taking place in West London this month.

And don’t miss this week’s makedoandmedhour conversation on twitter, where Jen Gale from Make Do and Mend will be asking people to share their favourite place to repair.

September minutes

Brentford Recycling Action Group
Minutes of Meeting held in the Toll House, Brentford Lock
Brentford Dock
on Tuesday 1 September 2015
Attending: Patti Horsnell, Hugh Picton, Douglas Benford, Rukmini West, Wendy Mackenzie, Virginia Fassnidge, Andrew Dakers, Louisa Perkins, LBH

No Topics Action
1 Minutes of last meeting agreed.
2 Apologies for Absence: Michelle Aspinall-Baker, Paul Richens, Catharine Browne, Kath Richardson, Chelsea Edwards, Sam Thomas, Canal and River Trust
3 Noticeboard: Patti received a ‘phone call from Andy Chaffey, Area Manager, Morrisons, to let us know that the person he needs to speak to was on holiday but as soon as he returns, Andy will speak to him and let us know the outcome. PH
4 Marie Curie Coffee Mornings: These continue to be held successfully every month in the Brentford Dock club room to raise funds. The next one will be on Monday 21st September from 10:30 to 12:30.  These continue to be well attended but, all who are available, it’s a very pleasant way to spend a Monday morning – and for a very good cause. ALL

EU agrees strict targets for reduction of plastic-bag use

The 28 EU member states will be required to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags by 80% by 2025 under new rules agreed by the European Union this week. Countries can decide themselves how to achieve the goal, through measures such as charges for plastic bags or outright bans.

There is already a 5p charge for single-use bags in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and England will follow suit in October, with the money collected to be used for environmental and charitable causes.

Compost Giveaway on May 10

Hounslow Council is celebrating Compost Awareness Week by giving away free compost on Saturday, 10 May, 2014. Bring a shovel and a maximum of four containers to pick up your compost at Hounslow Heath Nature Reserve, TW4 5RB (access via Frampton Road car park) from 10am to 1pm.

And there’s more. You’ll have the chance to learn about home composting, how to obtain a subsidised home-compost bin and how to make biodegradable newspaper plant pots for your seedlings. Be sure to bring the kids along to meet our mascot, Composting Claire.

Compost helps to improve soil structure, holds moisture in the soil and adds valuable nutrients to the soil – all of which helps your plants to grow.

A Not So Rubbish Trip

Illustration from Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor (1851).

London dustman. Illustration from Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor (1851)

When Rosie Oliver says she’s going to take you on a rubbish trip, she means it literally. Rosie, a lawyer, lecturer and presenter specializing in environmental law and policy, created and leads a two-hour walk from Mudchute on the Isle of Dogs to Greenwich on the theme of rubbish and how it has influenced the landscape. Woven into her commentary are stories about the people who collected the rubbish and how the rubbish has been treated and transformed over the centuries.

One example is Mudchute Park, the site of the former mud chute that spurted silt dredged from Millwall Docks into “settling ponds”, a type of landfill for waste mud. Also, the Victorian homes we passed and structures like the railway viaduct were likely built using materials that included rubbish: the dust and ash from people’s fireplaces from burning coal and domestic rubbish, which was collected by dustmen and taken to brick factories in Kent where it was mixed with clay, fired and brought back to London to be used for building.

In the 21st century, the need to reuse, recycle and reduce the rubbish we generate is greater than ever, Rosie says.

The walk includes a visit to the Mudchute city farm, where we saw one of nature’s recyclers in action – a magnificent pig – and we finished on the banks of the Thames at Greenwich, a veritable treasure trove of historical rubbish.

Rosie’s company is called Dotmaker Tours, and she offers the rubbish walk to the public once a month, and at other times to private groups: http://dotmakertours.co.uk/page10.htm.

Originally posted on Transition Brentford:

You are invited to come and join us as we begin the rousing work of spring at Syon Lane Community Allotment. We have a huge variety of wierd and wonderfull seeds to try out this year, and we will be sowing into small pots and filling up the greenhouse and polytunnel to birsting point. There will be outdoor sowing happenning in the market garden too, but please feel free to come and join us just for a cup of tea and to enjoy the garden. We’ll arrange a communal meal for everyone at around 2pm. Everything is free of charge. Visit www.syonlane.wordpress.com for more information and directions.

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BRAG was launched in 1999 by local residents working in partnership with London Borough of Hounslow’s recycling team “to raise awareness/advance education in the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste materials of all kinds and to promote, and assist on promoting, activities and facilities which seek to improve the local environment (Brentford) for the benefit of the local people.”

Enjoy exploring our website which focuses on reducing, reusing, repairing and recycling resources – but also introduces other ways of living a greener lifestyle.  If you share our passion then please consider joining our friendly group.