Press Release – 4 March 2009

Proceeds from a year of sales of the Green Bag for Life carrier bag bearing the slogan ‘Green is not a colour, it is a state of mind’ have been donated by The Body Shop Malta to heritage organisation, Din l-Art Helwa to assist it with the regeneration of green areas around its historic sites.

In the run up to the new eco tax on plastic bags, The Body Shop in Malta introduced its popular organic cotton Green Bag and made it available to its customers for their purchases as an alternative to the standard biodegradable plastic bags used by the company. Within each Body Shop market a donation of one Euro from the sale of each Green bag is given to local charities in order to assist them with furthering environmental projects and the creation of more green areas.

‘Customers have fast responded to more environmental ways of carrying their purchases’ says Simone Mizzi, Director for The Body Shop in Malta. ‘In Malta we had prepared for this, so customers had no problems yesterday when the new eco tax was introduced. We probably only have two weeks stock of our biodegradable plastic bags left. Our Bags of Life are most popular, made of organic and Fair Trade cotton which is now understood and has become trendy. Their availability provides a good income not just for the cotton growers in India who provide us with the bags, but also our local NGO Din l-Art Helwa who will use the 1,500 euros collected to further reinstate green areas around the Delimara Lighthouse and Mellieha’s Red Tower, important historic sites which Din l-Art Helwa holds in trust. And Malta’s landfills benefit too.

‘Paper bags are also not the answer’, continued Simone Mizzi, ‘paper still requires trees to be cut down, they are expensive and require energy to be produced. The government should ensure that any paper used locally is sourced from responsibly grown fast forests which are managed purposely.’ The Body Shop Malta has succeeded in cutting down some 300 plastic bags weekly since the introduction of its Green bag for Life, and it is hoped the quantity will increase with the introduction of the eco tax.