Recycle bags will help GAFIRS and environment

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A lifeboat station based in Gosport has been encouraging members of the public to beat the additional charge on plastic bags.

Supermarkets are now charging five pence per carrier bag, and the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) has launched a campaign against this.

It has commissioned a series of reusable nautical-themed bags, measuring 12 ­inches, costing £8.95.

The idea for the design came when Joyce Thomas, the fundraising officer for Gafirs asked the hand-crafting specialists Jukes’ Jutes to create the designs. She praised the design, saying it was suitable for local residents.

She said: ‘The bags are beautifully made and have some lovely nautical themes on them.

‘For those who like living by the water, they’re the perfect shopping bag to help beat the 5p charge.’

Gafirs chairman Keith Thomas added: ‘The project gained recognition through word of mouth, and we have passed information to people who have helped us,’ he said.

‘We have also promoted the campaign through our Facebook page.’

Mr Thomas also said the bags would be a positive way of benefiting the community and donating money to the lifeboat charity, which gets called to around 100 rescues every year.

The donations will go towards helping save those who are in danger in the Solent.

Mr Thomas agreed that the campaign is important for the community, stressing further that the support from the public will keep the charity running smoothly.

He said: ‘Support from the community is very important to us, and members of the public buying these handy shopping bags will help keep our vital life­saving service running.’

Since the launch of the bags, the charity has raised around £200. However, because the project is ongoing, they are expecting to raise more in the near future.

People can purchase the bags by visiting the lifeboat station on Wednesday mornings between 9am-­midday, or on Sundays from 10am-5pm.