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Retailers in the UK ready to reduce impact of carrier bags by 25 %

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Retailers signed up an agreement to cut the environmental impact of their carrier bags as a joint initiative representing all areas of the retail sector. This approach is the first one of its kind as a response to a concerted call for actions of the Environment Ministers in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who have agreed to support the campaign together with the British Retail Consortium and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme). WRAP also managed the project “Choose to reuse” trial in Bristol and Edinburgh in fall 2005, which was partnered by ASDA, Boots, Co-op/Somerfield, Tesco and Waitrose. (Picture: biodegradeable plastic bag)


A number of retailers have already been addressing customers through various approaches. This initiative involves representatives from all areas of the sector, including supermarkets, department stores, fashion, DIY and convenience stores. Customers will be encouraged to reduce the number of bags they use, each bag will be improved by using less material or having recycled content and more carrier bags will be recycled, wherever suited.


The local Environment Minister Ben Bradshaw stated that this was an ambitious but practical agreement. Consumers were increasingly aware that they could make positive choices to help the environment. By signing up this agreement, retailers had committed to help customers to reduce, reuse and recycle their carrier bags. This reduction target could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 58,500 tonnes a year. Retailers in Great Britain are already rewarding re-use, promoting bags for life, using and developing alternative materials and trialling bigger bags carrying more shopping. A baseline figure against which the reduction can be measured and reported is now being developed. A review will be completed before the end of 2008 to find out what would be needed to make further reductions by 2010. At this point of time, around 13 billion bags are used in the UK yearly.



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