Diary of a Sutton Councillor

A Quiet Revolution in Wallington

I hate supermarket shopping. I am the mad woman wandering the aisles muttering,

“Over packaged!”


“It’s been shipped from where?”


Saturday morning shopping is the worst of all as the local Sainsbury’s is full of other disgruntled shoppers all feeling resentful that they can only get to the supermarket when it is at its busiest. 


However this Saturday when I reached the checkouts I was overcome with a warm glow as I surveyed my fellow shoppers. At checkout after checkout I could see old fashioned shopping bags sitting in trolleys; reusable bags; canvass bags; cloth bags everywhere. This is new; it hasn’t always been this way.



Sainsbury’s has recently done away with its policy of having piles of thin disposable plastic bags on the checkout, and now you need to ask for them. They still have plenty available, but it serves as a reminder to shoppers to remember to reuse their bags. And how the residents of Wallington have embraced this idea! A little nudge from the supermarket and our shoppers have risen to the challenge.  


You had to be there to realise just how many people had brought their own bags, it was amazing. 


Back in January this year Full Council had supported a motion proposed by Sean Brennan, the leader of the Council, to encourage the major supermarkets in Sutton to review their packaging policies, and to seek a reduction in the use of disposable shopping bags. 


What I have learnt here in Wallington is just how strongly residents support these aims, and are prepared to make changes in their own habits on the basis of principles. This quiet revolution in Wallington goes to show that individual actions can make a difference, and set a good example for others to follow.  


Well done to Sainsbury’s for their bravery in making the change, but most of all hurrah for the people of Wallington for showing that a community can make a difference.


November 4, 2008 - Posted by | Opinion

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