Aylsham's bag ban off to a flying start
Shoppers in Aylsham have responded enthusiastically on the town's first plastic bag free day.Following in the famous footsteps of Modbury in Devon, which managed to ban all plastic bags from May 1 last year, the town officially become a plastic bag-free zone on Saturday.
Shoppers in Aylsham have responded enthusiastically on the town's first plastic bag free day.
Following in the famous footsteps of Modbury in Devon, which managed to ban all plastic bags from May 1 last year, the town officially become a plastic bag-free zone on Saturday.
A total of 71 businesses have signed up to the initiative, which means customers will either have to bring their own reusable bag or they will be handed starch or paper bags.
Nicola Filby, treasurer of Aylsham Traders' Association, said the initiative had helped to bring the town together.
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She said: “We have a very strong community business spirit and everybody has come together to promote the town. It's that community spirit that makes people want to live in Aylsham so they can be a part of it too.”
Martina Glason, a waste reduction officer for Norfolk County Council, has been helping the town to go plastic bag-free by working with its youngsters.
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She said: “We have been trying to reach as many community groups as we can to get the message out there.”
The message appeared to have been received loud and clear as shoppers descended on the market on Saturday armed with an array of reusable bags.
Margaret Kerrison, of Burgh Road, said: “It's great. I have been trying to use other bags for a while now when I go shopping.”
Her husband, Alan, said it would now be a matter of remembering to bring the bags, something which he felt would be more difficult for the men of the town.
Shopper Sylvie Marshall, from Heydon, said: “I think it's wonderful - everywhere should follow suit. There have been pioneers pushing to bring this issue to people's awareness.”
For those who forgot to bring their own, free cloth bags were being handed out on the day, with shoppers forming quite a queue at times to get one. More free bags will be given out on May 17, which is also a market day as the town moves towards having twice- monthly farmers' markets instead of their existing once- a-month market.
It is hoped that by then Alysham's own branded green bags, designed by youngsters at Bure Valley School, will have been delivered by suppliers.
Jason Borthwick, who lives in Aylsham and is one of the protagonists of the campaign, said: “We are never going to get everybody involved but I think we will get the vast majority taking part.
“I hope other people will follow our lead and realise it's not so difficult.”
For some shops in the town, the initiative has merely kick-started what they see as a long-term mission to become more eco-friendly.
Mr Borthwick said: “A lot of the businesses who have gone plastic bag-free are interested in what is the next step. I know the fish bar is looking at all of the packaging it uses for their foods and is looking at other options they could take.”
Traders taking part are:
A & M Carpets, White Hart Street
Abbotts Murdock Opticians, Cawston Road
Alleycuts, Red Lion Street
Aylsham Antiques, Cawston Road
Aylsham Computers, Red Lion Street
Aylsham Country Market (Fridays in the Town Hall)
Aylsham Dry Cleaners, Red Lion Street
Aylsham Fun Barns, Henry Page Road
Aylsham Manor, Norwich Road
Aylsham Post Office, Hungate Street
Aylsham Windows and Conservatories, Aylsham Trading Estate
Black Sheep Ltd (Clothing), Blickling Road
Break Charity Shop, Market Place
Budgens Aylsham, Norwich Road
Bure Valley Plant, Brampton
Burebank Books, Red Lion Street
Celebrations (Cards), Market Place
Concept Carpets & Blinds
Cooks of Cawston Electrical Ltd, Dunkirk
Crystal Kindness (Natural Therapies), Red Lion Street
Dunkirk Garage, Dunkirk
Eastons Coaches, Stratton Strawless
Eclipse Hair Studio, Red Lion Street
Edward Jones, Norwich Road
Exquisite (Hairdressers), Red Lion Street
F C Gardner & Co, Red Lion Street
Food Lovers, Blickling Road
G. F. White Traditional Butchers, Red Lion Street
Get a Head Gardener
Gottersons Fish Bar, Cawston Road
Granville C Bond (Butcher and Fishmonger), Red Lion Street
Hansells Solicitors, Norwich Road
Harvey World Travel, Red Lion Street
Heatcraft Anglia Ltd, Burgh Road
J B Postle (Electricals), Market Place
J Christian (Jewellers), Red Lion Street
J. S. Coxford (Butchers), Market Place
JF & VA Newman (Photographers), Blofields Loke
Koffies Coffee Shop, Cawston Road
Lavenders Blue (Florist), Red Lion Street
Le Bon Bon (Sweet Shop), Red Lion Street
Lloyds Pharmacy, Market Place
M F Barnwell & Sons (Newsagents), Market Place
Nikki Nelson Opticians, Burgh Road
NPS Glazing Systems Ltd, Buxton
Pampered Pets, Red Lion Street
Porkies (Sandwiches), Red Lion Street
Richard Anders-Dungar Architectural Technologist
Richard Hair Design, Blofields Loke
Shoe Box, Blofields Loke
Simply "16" (Restaurant), Market Place
Somerfield, Market Place
Sowerbys Estate Agents, Red Lion Street
St Jude's Gallery, Red Lion Street
Still Waters Beauty Therapy, Red Lion Street
The Bakehouse, Market Place
The Business Unisex Hair Salon, Red Lion Street
The Daisy Chain (Florist), Red Lion Street
The Little Clothes Shop, Red Lion Street
The Old Pump House, Holman Road
The Old Tea Rooms & Penny's from Heaven Bistro, Red Lion Street
The Plough Inn, Marsham
The Shoe Studio, Red Lion Street
Tops Group Limited (Estate Agents), Cawston Road
Visage Beauty Clinic, Blofields Loke
W G Oakes, Hungate Street Veterinary Surgery
Wagtails Petshop, Blofields Loke
Wolterton & Mannington Hall
Woodgate Nursery, Cawston Road