Cutting back on the bags

AN ILKLEY supermarket has joined its chain's bid to clean up the environment and make shopping greener.

Booths, on Leeds Road, is asking customers whether they really need to use plastic carrier bags to carry their purchases.

The Booths chain campaign being undertaken at all its 26 stores in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Cheshire aims to slash the amount of carbon produced in manufacturing the bags.

In the past four years Booths has cut the number of environmentally unfriendly carriers used from 29,201,250 in 2006 to an estimated 15,441,900 by the end of 2010.

This means that the chain has slashed the number of bags used by 50 per cent, a feat which none of the UK's leading supermarkets have managed to achieve without charging a fee for the bags.

It is believed that this has reduced the amount of carbon produced in making the plastic bags by about 400 tonnes during the past four years.

Booths has tackled the overuse of plastic bags by introducing measures such as removing plastic bag dispensers from the checkouts in all of its store, getting staff to ask each customer "Do you need a carrier bag?" and offering shoppers eco-friendly jute bags and Bags for Life as alternatives.

Booths health and safety manager Colin Everest said: "Booths has taken its commitment to reducing the number of plastic bags used in our stores very seriously and our staff have worked hard to achieve this goal."

Most carrier bags are still made from polyethylene, a non-degradable kind of plastic.