Free cotton bags for every householder

Friday 28th November 2008 12:00 am

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PEOPLE in Whitehill-Bordon will each be issued with a free cotton bag in a bid to cut plastic bags in the town.

The East Hampshire District Council initiative is supported by 18 local businesses, which will stock the cotton bags in store, ready for collection by residents.

District councillor and portfolio-holder for Whitehill and Bordon, Ian Dowdle, who owns one of the participating stores, hopes the scheme will be a great success for the environment and for local businesses.

He said: "Plastic bags just add to the rubbish mountain and I hope residents will help to make Whitehill and Bordon the first community in East Hampshire to opt for a greener alternative."

Owner of Topfloor Carpets, in Chalet Hill, another of the participating stores, Derek Seale said: "There are a number of reasons to support this cause. It's a community cause and we want to be part of that, so it's important for us to take part.

"At the top of everyone's agenda - certainly at the top of mine - is that we all have to help the environment.

"Whenever the local authority gets behind a scheme like this, people have to get involved. If they put the effort in, then so should we.

"I think the scheme is going to be incredibly popular. The bags aren't even out yet, but we've already had two or three people coming in to collect them. It certainly seems to be appealing to people. And for us that's good - it's definitely going to get people through the doors, even if they are just coming to collect their bag."

Residents will receive a voucher through the post which they can redeem between tomorrow, Saturday, and midday on Friday, December 12, at the participating retailers listed below.

Rachael Strevens, from Flowers by Rachael in Petersfield Road, said: "I think it's a great idea and hopefully people will use their vouchers and come to collect their bags.

"I've already had three people coming in to ask for theirs, so it's looking pretty good.

"I decided to take part in the scheme to offer people who live at this end of the town a chance to come and get their bags from a nearby store. I know there are shops in the shopping centre particpating, but we're here for the people who might struggle to get down there."

Participating retailers are: Drift Road Stores, Flowers by Rachael, Assura Pharmacy, Whitehill Stores, Topfloor Carpets, Robin Cycles, Little Gems, the Bordon Care Shop, Autocare Factors, Tesco, Inspirations, AR Wood Greengrocers, Chandlers Opticians, Forest Cards, Martins, Forest Cobbler, Bordon Library and the YMCA Charity Shop.

These shops will continue to give out plastic bags.

The trend to cut plastic-bag use began in Modbury, south Devon, last year. Modbury was the first town in Britain to stop issuing plastic bags when goods were purchased. Every trader in the town joined the venture. There are believed to be 50 plastic bag-free towns.