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Retailers promote bag reuse

Several major retailers have joined forces to try to reduce the number of plastic bags they give away at their tills through 'The Reusable Bag Campaign'. A six-week pilot scheme is being launched in Edinburgh today and Bristol tomorrow.

The campaign will encourage customers to 'Choose to reuse' durable bags for their supermarket shopping, to help reduce the uptake of plastic carrier bags.

With direction from the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the campaign was set up by a group of large supermarket chains with help from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Waste Awareness Group (SWAG) and the Scottish Executive.

The pilot schemes will include extensive local promotions including roadshows at key stores.

WRAP head of innovation Dr Richard Swannell said: "The challenge for us is to encourage shoppers to remember to take their shopping bag with them each time they go out, in the same way that they would take their keys or purse."

According to WRAP 80% of us currently put everything into free carrier bags during our main shopping trips, a figure it hopes to see reduced. The pilots will independently monitor consumer attitudes before and after the campaign, as well as the take up of carrier bags and sales of reusable bags. Results are expected in December and if successful broader campaigns may be drawn up.

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