This initiative prompted the raising of many sceptical eyebrows at the time. Now, more than a decade and a half later, it looks enlightened and years ahead of its time.
And the change in societal attitudes is further evidenced by the decision of Bradford-based supermarket Morrisons, a bellwether of the high street, going even further and announcing that it will remove all plastic ‘bags for life’ from every store nationwide, saving 3,200 tonnes of plastic per year.
This follows the removal of single use plastic bags in 2017 and customers will instead be able to purchase its paper bags which are reusable, recyclable, water resistant, tear resistant and can hold up to 16kg. University of Sheffield research suggests that Morrisons paper bags have a lower carbon footprint than our plastic equivalent.
Testament to the continuing foresight of Morrisons chief executive David Potts and his top team, it is a move that will, almost certainly, be replicated by its competitors as they respond to the latest trends.
In the meantime, is there any chance that Morrisons, or a town like Hebden Bridge, can develop a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and cans to counter the Government’s pedestrian-like approach to litter? For, while people should always be expected to dispose of their detritus responsibly, or bin it safely at home, such an initiative would further encourage a wider culture of recycling.
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