Winscombe to become plastic bag free

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group in the village have launched a project to encourage shoppers to use their own bags

RESIDENTS in Winscombe are being urged to provide their own carrier bags when they do their shopping.

Winscombe Zero Waste, a group started by resident Gillian Hill, has started a new project to make the village plastic carrier bag free.

The group, working with The Environmental Network for North Somerset (TENONS), hopes to achieve this by selling shoppers recyclable and reusable bags, made from a natural fibre called jute.

The project was announced on August 29 at a TENONS meeting held at Winscombe Community Centre.

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Member of the Zero Waste Group, John Turner, said: “The majority of traders in the village are willing to take part in the project.

“The idea is that when people go shopping they will not expect to have plastic bags made available to them all the time. Instead, traders will ask people to provide their own bags to carry shopping in.

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“Also, because the bags are made from a natural fibre they can easily be discarded when they need replacing, and our group will replace them for free.”

The project may take a few weeks to get off the ground but organisers are convinced it will be a hit. Gillian said: “If traders decide to sell our bags, or one of their own, there will be a delay in implementing this as delivery takes seven weeks.

“However, we are still promoting the use of old carrier bags that are already in the system. The main thing is to avoid using new plastic bags.”

Winscombe Zero Waste held monthly plastic collections, which prevented tonnes of plastic going to landfill sites but these were stopped for economic reasons.

Mr Turner said: “We are getting a tremendous amount of support for this new project because the plastic collections were forced to stop.

“A very negative thing has turned out to be positive for the plastic bag scheme.”

The project will be officially launched at the Michaelmas Fair at Winscombe Community Centre, on Saturday, at which Winscombe Zero Waste will have its own stand.

Those attending the fair will be able to buy the jute bags and also learn about the rest of the group’s work.

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