How’s this for a good cause? John Tucker’s Beach Stores, at Seascale on Cumbria’s beguiling coast, has raised £1,100 in one year for the Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) service simply by charging 5p for plastic bags.
“After reading so much about plastic bags lately I thought I would weigh in with my tuppence worth,” says John.
“We’ve had so much local support,” he adds, “and the visitors fully endorse it, too.”
The GNAA is totally reliant on charity and needs £4m a year to keep its three helicopters airborne and serving Cumbria, the North-East and North Yorkshire, 365 days a year.
John says that after the shocking shooting spree in Whitehaven in 2012 (when taxi driver Derrick Bird killed 12, including his twin brother, and injured 11 others) support for the air ambulance service has soared.
“And the model is so simple,” he adds, “with so little time involved.” His Mace bags come with barcodes and he just prints up how many the store has sold every week. “My accountant says, as it’s a donation, there is no Vat applicable.”
Plus, he says, the business has reduced plastic bag usage by a whopping 60%.
He is currently sending off about £100 a month to the charity and he says that, ideally, he would like to canvass other stores in the areas to see if they can’t build up a network to raise even more money. So, if you are in Cumbria, the North-East or North Yorkshire, get in touch this would be a very feel-good network.