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Waitrose to ban carrier bags for two weeks - COMMENT UPDATE

Waitrose supermarket stores are set to ban disposable plastic carrier bags for a two week trial period.

Shoppers passing through Waitroses checkouts from May 14 will be greeted with new green tills which will be carrier bag free in 14 stores. It will also test a single bag-less store in
East Anglia for the same period.

The trial has been endorsed by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). It said the trial was being implemented to encourage people to be more environmentally friendly and be made aware of the environmental costs of their actions.

In 2005, WRAP signed the Courtauld Commitment, which is a partnership between food retailers and the Government to help reduce packaging waste and to tackle the problem of food waste.

It is also a large and far reaching agenda in which business can play an important role in both protecting the environment and making profits.

WRAPs chief executive Dr Liz Goodwin said: These customer trials are another example of how leading retailers are responding to the Agreement to reduce the environmental impact of carrier bags by 25% by 2008.

These trials are designed to gauge Waitrose customers reactions to different approaches to reducing bag use, including an entirely bag-less supermarket. This is exactly the kind of initiative we are looking for from the signatories of the Agreement.

She added: We are also delighted that Waitrose now provide their customers with bag recycling facilities at each outlet, and that they are introducing more recycled material into their carrier bags, in an effort to cut back on the total usage of oil based plastics, and to encourage recycling.

We hope the trials are successful and look forward to the results.
10/5/07: According to WRAP, the Waitrose bag-free trial is being implemented "to encourage people to be more environmentally friendly and be made aware of the environmental costs of their actions". If that's really the aim, why on earth is everyone focusing on carrier bags - it is the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. We all need to buy less, buy more wisely and to waste less food and energy. If we never used another plastic carrier bag from today, the environment would be in no better shape. This is just an easy let out for consumers - express hate for the carrier bag and people won't notice what's in it. Can't someone stand up and tell the truth? Supermarkets know (but don't say - why would they?) that if

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