Campaign against plastic bags begins

PLASTIC bags could soon be a thing of the past in Ipswich if town chiefs get their way after an ambitious bid to ban their use was launched.Thousands of plastic bags are handed out by shops in town every week to aid customers ferrying their groceries and essentials around Ipswich but environmentalists are concerned about the ecological cost.

PLASTIC bags could soon be a thing of the past in Ipswich after town chiefs launched an ambitious bid to ban their use.

Thousands of plastic bags are handed out by shops in town every week to aid customers ferrying their groceries and essentials around Ipswich but environmentalists are concerned about the ecological cost.

Ipswich Borough Council leaders have now begun a campaign to stop the use of plastic bags at council led events and venues in the hope they can set the trend for retail stores and shoppers to follow.

Louise Gooch, portfolio holder for environmental services, said she hopes Ipswich Borough Council will be completely plastic bag free within the next 12 months.

She said: “We are working towards the point where any event that we hold will be plastic bag free, including our museums and the tourist information centre.

“Then we will be working towards the next stage, which will be to make Ipswich a plastic bag free zone.

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“I would hope that it would be a voluntary thing, and that local people will support it and that one day it will be completely unacceptable to use bags that have come from non renewable sources.”

“It's such an important campaign because of the damage that plastic bags do to our wildlife, they can damage marine life, they damage land animals and birds get them wrapped around them.”

“They're plain unsightly, they flap about in the wind and they use up our non renewable resources and they invariably have a life span of twenty minutes.

“They are bad news as far as I'm concerned.”

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said: “Both businesses and the customer are becoming more aware of the effects that we make on the environment.”

n. Would you support a ban on plastic bags? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

n. Leading supermarket giants such as Sainsbury's and Tesco have all been encouraging their customers to re-use carrier bags by selling more durable “bags for life”.

n. 13 billion plastic bags are used in the UK every year.

n. Tesco alone gives out four billion plastic bags a year but gives reward points to shoppers who refuse them.

n. Council leaders in London have also suggested an outright ban on the bags in a bid to reduce the waste going into land fills.

n. A ban has already been proposed in Wales and may become effective by March of next year.

n. The market town of Modbury in Devon is thought to be the first town in Europe to be completely free of plastic bags.

n. From May 1 all shoppers in the town were given biodegradable cornstarch bags, recyclable bags or re-useable cotton and jute bags.

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