Free cotton bags as plastic bag levy starts

The Eastleigh Borough Council in partnership with The Southern Co-operative will be giving away free cotton bags as the single use plastic carrier bag levy comes into force on Monday 5 October.

Around 1700 cotton bags will be given away to help encourage people to avoid using plastic bags when they go shopping. They will be given away free at a number of The Southern Co-operative stores on a first come first serve basis on Monday 5 October when the new rules come into force. From this date, by law, a charge of 5p per carrier bag will be made in stores employing more than 250 employees.

Participating The Southern Co-operative stores within the Borough are:
• Hursley Road, Chandlers Ford
• Falkland Court, Velmore
• The Parade, Boyatt Wood
• Leigh Road, Eastleigh
• Spring Lane, Bishopstoke
• Sandy Lane, Fair Oak

Cabinet Lead for Environment & Sustainability Cllr Rupert Kyrle said, It’s great that we have teamed up with The Southern Co-operative to encourage shoppers to re-use their bags. He added “We can all make a small change and together make a big difference so I encourage everyone to use re-usable bags when they go shopping.”

Jessica Hughes, Communications and Community Engagement Manager at The Southern Co-operative, added: “As a co-operative, we have a purpose beyond profit, so supporting our local communities and the environment is integral to our business ethos. We’ll shortly be launching a new community programme to donate the proceeds from this new carrier bag levy scheme to local good causes across southern England. Information about this and how to apply for funding will be available on and in our stores later this year. We’re also aiming to reduce our single-use plastic bag number by at least 50% by April 2020, so our partnership with Eastleigh Borough Council to offer residents free cotton bags should help us achieve this environmental goal.”

Bags will also be available from
Hedge End Town Council, 2000 Centre, St John’s Road
(9am-4pm Mon – Fri)
Hound Parish Council, Station Road Netley
(9.30am-12noon Mon to Fri)
‘Shop Equality’ in Eastleigh

The Council will also give bags away at Eastleigh Market on Thursday 8 October and at The Pumpkin Festival at Royal Victoria Country Park on Saturday 10 October.

Cllr Rupert Kyrle with Jessica Hughes from The Southern Co-operative and Lorraine Kemp from the Council's recycling team with some of the cotton bags in front of The Co-operative store in Hursley Road, Chandlers Ford.

Cllr Rupert Kyrle with Jessica Hughes from The Southern Co-operative and Lorraine Kemp from the Council’s recycling team with some of the cotton bags.