Potato peel bags will line Wembley’s bins in UK first

20 June 2019

Biodegradable bags made of leftover potato peels and corn are to line Wembley's litter bins in a bid to cut down plastic waste. 20,000 plastic-free bags will be introduced as part of a two-month trial, saving 120 kilos of plastic. The initiative, spearheaded by Brent Council in partnership with Veolia, is the first of its kind in the UK.

In Your Face Advertising produce the planet-saving bags. The British company extracts polylactic acid from potato peels and corn to create strong and durable products. Not only are the bags biodegradable, they are also more sustainable to produce, using 72% less carbon than plastic equivalents.

Since 2018, the #PlasticFreeWembley campaign has targeted local businesses, encouraging them to swap single-use plastic items - like cups and cutlery - for more environmentally friendly alternatives. To date, the campaign has saved around 150 tonnes of plastic.

Cllr Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment at Brent Council, said: "When it comes to saving the planet, we need to think outside the box and embrace innovation. This initiative demonstrates how small changes can create a big impact - 120 kilos of plastic saved by turning old potato peels into bags, and that's just in one small area! I hope this encourages other councils to seek out green solutions."

Arthur Chirkinian, Founder & CEO of In Your Face Advertising, said: "The products we have developed offer sustainable solutions to one of today's biggest challenges - plastic pollution and its impact on our world. There's a great deal of momentum behind green issues and we're thrilled to be helping areas like Wembley to harness their ambition to go plastic free. We hope other local authorities will be inspired by this trial - the first of its kind in the UK - to think about what they can do to improve their environmental footprint."

Gisela Endres, Street Cleansing Contract Manager at Veolia in Brent, said: "Our teams work really hard to keep the streets of Wembley clean, and innovative trials - whether they be plastic-free litter bags or clean vehicle technologies - ensure we lead the way for delivering a more sustainable city. It's important to cut down on single-use plastic and to source environmentally friendly alternatives, however not all plastic is avoidable and when we do need to use it, where it is recyclable, we must do our bit for the environment and ensure it ends up in the recycling bin."