New attempt to get rid of bags

COMMUNITY leaders are pledging to do all they can to make Suffolk Coastal a plastic bag-free district within the next two years.But council officers admit it could take a little longer than the target because of other waste and recycling priorities - unless government goes the way of 21 other countries and imposes a ban on plastic bags.

COMMUNITY leaders are pledging to do all they can to make Suffolk Coastal a plastic bag-free district within the next two years.

But council officers admit it could take a little longer than the target because of other waste and recycling priorities - unless government goes the way of 21 other countries and imposes a ban on plastic bags.

Suffolk Coastal council is already doing its part with the change-over to the three-bin recycling and rubbish scheme for households meaning 1.53 million less plastic sacks are given out each year.

Its Coastline magazine is to be sent to 5,000 homes in an envelope rather than poly-bagged, and research is taking place into alternative litter and dog waste bin liners.


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It has also written to prime minister Gordon Brown urging government to go further with its policies to reduce plastic bag usage.

Towns in the district are also taking part in the project.

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Felixstowe Town Council is looking into various projects and retailers in the town are already selling reusable shopping bags; while the Less Plastic for Woodbridge Campaign was launched in June with biodegradable bags being sold in shops and one shop giving a donation to charity for shoppers declining to take a plastic bag.

Aldeburgh Town Council is to discuss encouraging shoppers to consider not using plastic bags; Greener Fram Group in Framlingham is considering the introduction of a Fram Bag made from natural products and the town's supermarket is selling reusable Fair Trade bags; most shops in Leiston are not automatically offering plastic bags; and Saxmundham business association is launching a reusable bag scheme called “Sacks for Sax” to reduce plastic bag use.

Suffolk Coastal's main focus at the moment is to complete the roll-out of its improved combined refuse and recycling service - which should be finished by 2011.

“Once the roll-out is complete, waste management officer time is planned to be reallocated to focus on prevention and diversion of other municipal waste streams generated in the course of service delivery activity,” said cabinet member Andrew Nunn.

“These waste streams include street sweepings, litter and grounds maintenance waste, as well as helping the council realise its aspiration of a plastic bag-free district.”

Should the government ban all plastic bags? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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