New front in battle against bags

SHOPPERS in Ipswich could soon be loading their goodies into home compostable carrier bags after a retailer today pledged to reduce its use of plastic bags.

SHOPPERS in Ipswich could soon be loading their goodies into home compostable carrier bags after a retailer today pledged to reduce its use of plastic bags.

The East of England Co-operative Society is trialling a scheme to reduce its use of the environmentally-damaging bags in five of its stores, including the Rosehill Centre in Ipswich.

From May 19 free plastic carrier bags will be banned in the shops and replaced with greener alternatives, including the UK's first fully accredited home compostable carrier bag made from polyester and cornstarch, which will cost 6p.

The new bags break down within 12 months in a garden compost bin and after being used for shopping can become lining a kitchen compost bin to vegetable peelings. They are then put into a garden compost bin.

Richard Samson, chief executive of the East of England Co-operative Society, said: “I am delighted that we are taking this important step to cut down on the number of plastic carrier bags we issue.

“We have been considering this issue for some time, but there has been a definite change in people's attitudes towards plastic bags in recent months and we believe now is the right time to make this leap forward.”

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If the trial, which will last for six to eight weeks, is successful it will be rolled out to all 135 East of England Co-op food stores across the region and to other departments.

Should there be a complete ban on plastic bags? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk.

GOVERNMENT is being asked by a Suffolk council to take urgent action to cut the use of plastic carrier bags.

Suffolk Coastal backed a motion by Liberal Democrat member Marian Andrews and is committed to making the district a bag-free zone, and is now to writing to prime minister Gordon Brown to ask for urgent national action, too.

Cabinet member Andrew Nunn said: “We have set an ambitious goal of striving to make Suffolk Coastal a plastic bag free district as soon as possible, and certainly this council will continue to work with towns and parish councils, local businesses and the public.

“There are already some commendable initiatives underway, supported either directly or indirectly by this council, and we have agreed a deadline of the next two years to deliver real progress on ridding our district of plastic bags.

“However, while working with our communities will help us all take big strides towards this goal, the reality is that it is probably only the government that can make the big difference.

“On behalf of the council, I am writing to the prime minister to ask him urgently to keep his promise to take the appropriate action.”

It is estimated 13 billion plastic bags are given out to shoppers in Britain every year

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