A SHOP in Lee-on-the-Solent has launched a campaign to help the environment by encouraging customers to use special biodegradable bags.
Peter Patterson, owner of All Seasons Fruiterers, in Lee-on-the-Solent High Street, had started to charge customers for plastic bags as part of his green campaign, in an effort to curb their use.
But when that did not work, he switched to using 100 per cent biodegradable bags, along with encouraging shoppers to reuse any plastic bags they do have, bringing back the idea of a designated ‘veggie bag’.
He said: ‘The government hasn’t legislated against the use of plastic bags. It’s possible, but I think it’s more a case of educating people on the plastic bag usage.
‘This is very much an individual High Street notice that’s gone up with the green campaign, just asking people to use a veggie bag and it’s going very well.
‘More and more people are aware of the importance of not using plastic.
‘We are very aware of the over-usage of plastic and the need to cut it back, and because of where we’re positioned in the High Street and the footfall past our shop being as high as it is, we can put something in and get the message across.
‘I do think it’s a case of education. Until you get the bigger retailers onboard it’s not going to be universal.’
Along with offering the special bags, Mr Patterson also no longer asks shoppers if they want a bag, instead asking if they need a bag, in an attempt to encourage his customers to bring their own.
And Mr Patterson said that since launching the campaign he has noticed a decrease in people asking for any bags, instead bringing their own to the shop.
‘We’re very mindful of what happens to our bags after we’ve given them away.
‘People generally speaking are far more aware of the need to reduce the amount of plastic that’s being used.
‘It’s to reuse and to reintroduce the veggie bag. In the past people would shop, particularly in vegetable shops with their veggie bag.
‘It’s educating people into using a bag more than once and reintroducing the veggie bag, one they don’t mind getting a little bit dirty.’
And Mr Patterson has also joined with a local Litteraction group to help with their ‘Love Where You Live’ campaign.