Sunday, 6 April 2008

Making Morpeth a plastic-bag free town

Bit of a premature leak to the press about plans (following on from my post here in December) to make Morpeth a plastic-bag free town. I was hoping to hold back till after the elections – but well, might as well give a proper preview…

There’s no real co-ordinated plan, that’s the problem:
- of course, the farmers’ market was ahead of the game, with cotton shopping bags produced some 5-6 years ago (and many people are still using them).
– and now, several shops are already making people request plastic bags rather than give them out automatically
- the Borough Council are planning to buy-in some 50,000 compostable corn-starch bags which we hope to sell to the market traders to give out at the Wednesday Market. We reckon they’ll last 4-5 months. We’re also looking at longer lasting cotton shopping bags, which if printed up with ‘Castle Morpeth Markets’ will become collectors items in a couple of years time
- the Chamber of Trade are considering buying-in more corn-starch bags to maintain the supply, if the CMBC bags go down well
- and Morpeth Town Council are also planning to come in on the act

So – overall – there’s already real popular support for the idea, and the hope is that there should be enough of a drive over the summer to get people out of the habit of using plastic bags, and generate a bit of ‘consumer demand’ for alternatives. And yes – Morpeth may well be the first ‘plastic bag-free town in the North East’

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