Guest blog article written by Beth Williams, Founder and CEO of Turtle Bags, a member of the UN-SPBF Green Technology Startup Initiative.

Eighteen years ago, when plastic bags were still spilling off British supermarket tills, I was aware that plastic was entering the food chain in our seas. Even back then, the scientists knew that plastic fragments were being found in everything from large mammals to tiny invertebrates in our oceans, but the issue was invisible.

I saw the business, Turtle Bags, as a way of raising awareness of this invisible problem. Using the turtle (who visit UK waters and inadvertently eat our plastic bags) as a symbol, I began sourcing sustainable and ethical alternatives which Turtle Bags could offer to the plastic bag.

The company has grown organically. Time has allowed the company to forge long term relationships with our Fairtrade producers and develop new materials and products.

In 2018, Turtle Bags was featured as a case study in the 2018 UN report Exploring Alternative Materials to Reduce Plastic Pollution, which marked the beginnings of the company’s relationship as a member of the UN Science Policy Business Forum. The groups role is to support businesses by forming an alliance and enabling business to innovate and facilitate sustainable living.

For Turtle Bags, the opportunity to be involved in this group has been transformative and empowering.

I attended the groups meeting in 2019 as part of the UN Environment Programme, and found the sessions not only allowed us to develop new partnerships but gave added impetus to promoting the focused mission of sustainable living.

With this is mind, later in 2019 I travelled to India with a mission to create a documentary about how organically cotton gives back: and hence this short minidoc, “Cottoning On…”. This film explores the role organic cotton in giving back to soils and increasing climate resilience.

The video was launched for World Environment day on 5 June.


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For more information about the UN-SPBF Green Technology Startup Initiative and membership enquiries, please contact, forum@un-spbf.org

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