When it comes to Bags For Life, Belper resident Dave Wells must be in possession of a record-breaker.
And if he isn’t he would love to hear from anyone in Amber Valley who can do better.
The Green Party member first started campaigning about the excessive use of plastic more than 30 years ago when it was very much a fringe issue but what is even more impressive is that he is still using his Say No to Plastic Bags shopping bag today.
It looks a bit worse for wear but it is still going strong – as is Dave who is campaigning to win a seat on Amber Valley Borough Council this May.
Dave, who is campaigning in Duffield for the Green Party, has cautiously welcomed Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Prime Minister Theresa May pledged take action against plastic packaging.
“The thing is, I have been campaigning against and teaching about the excessive use of plastic packaging for over 30 years,” he said.
“In the late 1980s I wrote to Sainsbury’s to suggest that they charge for their plastic shopping bags.
“As far back as 1990, The Derby Recycling Action Group, of which I was a member, put on a display in the Eagle Centre highlighting the problem of excessive packaging and the same year
“I wrote to Amber Valley Borough Council to suggest that they introduce kerbside collection of recyclables.
“They replied then that there was no demand for such a system.”
Dave, who recently retired from teaching, has also been educating youngsters to “Reduce Re-use and Recycle” since the 90s.
“Last June my students wrote to Michael Gove suggesting that the government introduce a deposit scheme for plastic bottles; his reply was non-committal, to say the least,” he said.
“I can’t help but think there may be a bit of opportunism involved here. Or maybe they have wondered why so many young people are voting for the Green Party.
“I wait to see what real action they take.”