Eco-friendly town goes plastic bag free

GREEN-minded residents have ditched plastic by turning their back on traditional carrier bags as part of an innovative campaign.Shops and businesses in Clare have made the town the first plastic-bag free community thanks to a week-long ban and locals are now calling on other towns to adopt the scheme.

Dave Gooderham

GREEN-minded residents have ditched plastic by turning their back on traditional carrier bags as part of an innovative campaign.

Shops and businesses in Clare have made the town the first plastic-bag free community thanks to a week-long ban and locals are now calling on other towns to adopt the scheme.

Customers in local newsagents, butchers and other independent stores are being given more environmentally-friendly alternatives in a bid to cut the 17 million plastic bags used every year across St Edmundsbury.

Mark Humphrey, of butchers J.R Humphrey & Sons, said: “We think it is a good idea and are pleased to be taking part in it. We would hope to carry it further than this week as there are far too many plastic bags.

“But it would depend on cost and what our customers wanted. So far, they seem quite happy that we are taking part and it is good to raise public awareness. We now hope this could be introduced everywhere and not just in Clare, which is just a drop in the ocean really.”

Most Read

Wendy Butcher, owner of Butcher's Newsagents, said: “I feel we should help the environment and all these plastic bags seem such a waste. I think it is great that the whole town is taking part and it certainly gives it even greater importance.”

Local traders in Clare have signed up to go “plastic bag free” as part of St Edmundsbury Borough Council's challenge to everyone in the borough to reduce the waste they throw into their black bins - waste that cannot be recycled or composted - to nothing.

During Zero Waste Week, businesses across the borough have been urged to think about the waste they produce and make changes which will see more reused and recycled.

A business waste advisor will be offering advice in the council offices in Haverhill on Thursday and Bury St Edmunds the next day.

Peter Stevens, the council's cabinet member with responsibility for the environment, said: “This initiative provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to take a good look at ways of minimising the waste they produce.”

Representatives from key west Suffolk organisations will also discuss how they can reduce the effects of climate change at a conference in the Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds on Friday .

Any local businesses that would like to attend should contact David Wood on 01638 719285.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter