Merton pupil bags design prize

Merton Council has announced the winner of the design for a reusable shopping bag.

Thirteen year old Lauren O’Byrne from Ursuline High School in Wimbledon has seen her winning design printed on 400 limited edition bags. Some of the bags have been given to fellow pupils at her school and the council will hand out the rest to residents visiting its recycling roadshows throughout the year.

Following the launch of the competition, the council received more than 50 entries from Harris Academy, Mitcham and Ursuline Academy, Wimbledon. The bags are made of cotton and are manufactured in a carbon neutral factory which is also Fairtrade and ethically accredited.

Through its eco-Bag competition the council challenged youngsters aged 11 to 18 to develop a design they wanted to see on a reusable cotton bag. Merton Council’s community engagement officer Rachel Phelan presented Lauren with her winning bag during the school assembly. After the presentation she spoke to the pupils about climate change and how we can all improve our environment through making small lifestyle changes such as using reusable shopping bags instead of the more polluting plastic alternative.

Merton Council cabinet member for the environment Councillor David Simpson said: ‘Well done to Lauren and to all the young people who entered the competition. Running competitions like this is just one way we are trying to get youngsters to think about the environment and about how it is possible for us all to make a big difference by doing small things. Lauren’s eye-catching design is popular because it reinforces an environmental message and appeals to people of all ages. Due to its popularity we are hoping to have more bags printed.’