Co-op bags green campaign

EAST of England Co-op is introducing a charge for plastic shopping bags as part of a campaign to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill.

EAST of England Co-op is introducing a charge for plastic shopping bags as part of a campaign to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill.

From September 8, the society will no longer issue free carrier bags to customers at its 135 food retail outlets across the region and at its five petrol forecourts.

The move follows a trial at selected locations across Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk which was launched by the society in May this year.

The trial attracted the support of writer and environmental campaigner Bill Bryson, whose anti-litter crusade was featured on BBC1's Panorama programme earlier this week.


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Now, the concept is to be extended across the society's food operation, with the trial having indicated a huge level of support for the initiative from customers.

It has achieved reduction of more than 80 per cent in the number of standard plastic bags carried and a significant increase in the sale of eco-friendly alternatives, including the Co-op's “Bag for Life” and Fairtrade Cotton bags.

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Richard Samson, chief executive of the East of England Co-op, said: “We believe that other national food retailers are targeting a 25 per cent reduction in carrier bags over the next few years but, frankly, that's really not good enough.

“The results of our carrier bag trials would suggest that, with the co-operation of our customers, we can achieve an overall reduction in the order of at least 75pc to 80pc of carrier bags issued in our 135 food stores across East Anglia.”

Do you agree with the Co-ops eco-stance? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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