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Posted On: 16th Oct 2009

Bags of Success

Fixer Orla McKeon-Carter
The bird sculpture on display in London
Stasa Veroukis, London Wetland Centre

Orla McKeon-Carter has had her environmental message heard over 200 miles away since starting a campaign to ban plastic bags in her hometown.


Her story was broadcast on ITV News West Country (W) in October 2009.


Concerned rubbish was ruining the scenic views of local beaches, the 21-year-old from Plymouth assembled a bird sculpture from litter with help from local artist Maggi Squire and the community.


The artpiece has now made the journey all the way to the capital, where it is on display at the London Wetland Centre.


‘January was the time when the whole bird came together,’ describes Orla.


‘Most people from around Plymouth heard about the campaign and loads of people helped make the sculpture.


‘It now has the perfect location by the water with lovely surroundings.’


In the broadcast, Orla speaks to Stasa Veroukis from the centre, who details the impact the Fixer’s campaign has had.


‘We ask our visitors now every time if they need a bag at all, and that has reduced consumption.


‘We have jute bags that are re-usable and sustainable, and I’m carrying a bag now that’s made out of recycled juice cartons.


‘Orla’s sculpture fits in really well. It really highlights what we do here at the centre.’


In 2008, Orla’s Fixers campaign was shown on ITV News West Country (W) - a year on she reflects on the progress she has made.


‘Since the last broadcast, I’ve become the regional winner of the eco award for vInspire and it means I get to showcase my work at an award ceremony in London.


‘I think it’s great that the shop here has decided to get rid of the traditional plastic bags that kill birds.


‘Even if it’s making a really small impact, it’s still making one. It was worth building that sculpture and it was worth sending out the message.’


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Save the beaches! See how another Fixer is campaigning for a clean-up.

Author: Cara Laithwaite


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