Plastic bag free zone planned

FURTHER discussions are expected between business leaders and councillors about making North Herts a plastic bag-free zone. District councillors met last week with retailers, town centre partnerships and the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce to discuss th

FURTHER discussions are expected between business leaders and councillors about making North Herts a plastic bag-free zone.

District councillors met last week with retailers, town centre partnerships and the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce to discuss the proposal but came away without a concrete agreement.

Yesterday (Wednesday) a council spokesman said: "There are still further discussions to be made."

The idea was first announced by council leader F John Smith last August and if the council were to adopt the introduction of a voluntary plastic bag ban it would see North Herts join over 70 other towns and villages which have already committed themselves to similar initiatives.

Instead it was decided that businesses would put their weight behind a commercial waste recycling initiative which they see as just as, if not more, important.

"Local business representatives agree that there is much more retailers and consumers could do to reduce North Hertfordshire's carbon footprint," the council spokesman said.

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The council will also consider how to make reusable bags available for smaller retailers and will "provide targeted support for local businesses and voluntary organisations who would like to launch their own local schemes".

Councillor Lynda Needham, the portfolio holder for waste and recycling, said: "Whilst reducing the use of plastic bags and making better use of reusable bags helps, local businesses rightly pointed to the much bigger environmental benefit that might be secured if recycling commercial waste produced by businesses could be introduced.