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Borough in bid to ban plastic carrier bags

Daily Dorset Echo, UK

CHINA has just outlawed them and they have been taxed in Ireland for the past 15 years - now Christchurch is being urged to say no’ to plastic bags with the launch next month of a community crusade to banish the bags.

Instead of the plastic carriers issued by supermarkets, shops and stall holders, customers in Christchurch will be encouraged to carry their shopping home in eco-friendly Fair Trade reusable cotton bags.

The specially commissioned bags - sourced from India - and emblazoned with the slogan say no to plastic bags, please’ will go on sale from February 2 when the campaign is launched at the Regent Centre.

Former council chief executive Colin Dewsnap, now chairman of the environment action group of the Christchurch Community Partnership, is masterminding the campaign.

He said the billions of bags issued every year in the UK were used on average for just 12 minutes but took centuries to degrade, mostly ending up in landfill sites and adding to the creation of the methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than the main climate-changing culprit carbon dioxide.

Dumped bags are also a major cause of litter and pollution on land and sea and the BBC eco-documentary film “Message in the Waves” showing the death and distress caused to marine wildlife by plastic debris will be screened at the Regent Centre prior to the midday launch of the campaign by Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Mrs Josie Spencer, to which all are invited.

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