Bags ban move

PUBLISHED: 15:02 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 11 May 2010

ENVIRONMENTALY FRIENDLY: Trading manager Jenny Walsh and checkout operator Soo Newman at Somerfield supermarket in Royston.
Picture: DANIEL WILSON

ENVIRONMENTALY FRIENDLY: Trading manager Jenny Walsh and checkout operator Soo Newman at Somerfield supermarket in Royston. Picture: DANIEL WILSON

DISPOSABLE plastic bags could soon be a thing of the past. North Herts District Council has announced a three-point plan which aims at reducing the number of plastic bags used in the district. Council leader Cllr F John Smith said: This is certainly a st

DISPOSABLE plastic bags could soon be a thing of the past.

North Herts District Council has announced a three-point plan which aims at reducing the number of plastic bags used in the district.

Council leader Cllr F John Smith said: "This is certainly a step in the right direction."

The council's plan will involve working with local retailers, town centre partnerships, and other organisations to ensure that reusable bags are widely available.

Cardboard recycling for businesses - through the North Herts trade waste service - will be introduced.

Cllr Linda Needham, portfolio holder for waste and the environment, said: "Reducing the number of plastic bags in use has been a hot topic in recent months"

She said the council's move was "a positive contribution which we believe will have the support of retailers and customers alike."

Cllr Smith said last October that he wanted to make North Herts a "bag-free zone".

Subsequent discussions between parties, including the Herts Chamber of Commerce and representatives of local retailers, have led to the plan being formulated.

"Plastic bags are very convenient, and nothing is going to change overnight, but people don't have to use them. A lot of stores already offer greener alternatives," said Cllr Smith.

One such retailer is Somerfield, which offers shoppers the chance to take in five disposable plastic bags and exchange them for a free reusable "bag for life".

Royston branch manager Russell Walford said: "We've been running this scheme for some time and it's popular with customers. We can dispose of the plastic bags in an environmentally friendly way."

Tesco runs a scheme where shoppers using their own bags are rewarded with club card points.

As part of the Budget on Wednesday, Chancellor Alistair Darling revealed plans to introduce legislation forcing supermarkets to charge for plastic bags.

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