Compostable bags to be rolled out across Greater Manchester

Environmentally-friendly compostable bags are being made available in shops across Greater Manchester – so you won’t have to feel guilty for forgetting your bag for life.

The plans have been unveiled as part of the ambitious five-year environmental vision for the region, which was launched at the second Green Summit this week.

New carrier bags that can compost down and bio-degrade naturally are being made available to thousands of retailers with the conurbation.

Retailers will need to purchase them direct from the the green carrier scheme from May.

If they get on board with the scheme, Manchester shoppers who forget their bag for life could buy the compostable bag for just 5p.

Bosses hope the introduction of the bags will help crack down on litter, and stop harmful plastic endangering animals and ending up in our oceans, bosses hope.

David Attenborough, who shocked the nation with the eye-opening series Blue Planet, has previously called on people to cut back on plastic packaging and plastic bags in supermarkets to help save the environment.

Scientists currently predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish.

The bags can be used not only for shopping, but also as the liner for food waste bins as the material it’s made of can be broken down naturally and turned into peat free compost.

Biodegradable bags were first trialled by the Co-op in partnership with Oldham council, but the Greater Manchester Combined Authority has now backed extending them to the rest of the region.

The bags have also been spotted on the Weatherfield cobbles in Coronation Street.

Speaking at the green summit, Michael Fletcher, Co-op’s retail chief commercial officer said it was their aim to eradicate single use plastic from their stores.

“Last year Co-op rolled-out compostable carriers to over a thousand stores, and I am pleased to announce that similar bags will be available through an initiative with GMCA,” he said.

“By sharing knowledge and, co-operating, we can enable every retailer in Greater Manchester to access compostable bags for their customers.”

Leaders are aiming to make the region carbon neutral within the next 20 years against the looming threat of climate change.

During Monday’s Green Summit, the first city-region wide plan to drive down avoidable single-use plastics was announced with the ‘plastic free GM’ message asking businesses, organisations and residents to pledge to take action.

Stockport council leader Alex Ganotis, who leads on the green portfolio added: “We face urgent and significant environmental challenges in Greater Manchester – the global impacts of climate change and environmental decline have been widely acknowledged as among the greatest economic and public health threats of this century.

“Our five year environment plan sets out how we will tackle these challenges in Greater Manchester, meeting our environmental responsibilities, alongside securing our economic future and wellbeing.”

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