Stratford-upon-Avon will soon be going plastic bag-free with its own unique branded eco-shopper, thanks to an initiative from the Town Management Partnership (TMP), whose members include businesses and many local groups, as well as representatives from the town, district and county councils.
The new environmentally friendly jute bag was designed and produced in collaboration with Jutexpo, the UK’s leading specialist jute bag supplier. It was launched in the town on 28th March, when there was a plastic bag amnesty. Free Stratford jute bags, worth £3.50 each, were given away to the first 100 people who “turned in” a plastic carrier.
Jutexpo, based in Broadway, Worcestershire, is the UK’s largest supplier of jute bags to all the leading supermarkets, as well as independent retailers, national charities, businesses, universities, colleges, libraries and schools.
Operations Director, Sam Turner, said: “We are very excited to be part of this great initiative and delighted that we were given the opportunity to work with Stratford’s TMP.
“We believe that the bag will prove very popular with local people and the millions of tourists who come to the town every year, adding yet another feature to its attractions by being one of the very few towns so far to have gone plastic-bag free.”
Stratford Mayor, Cllr Joyce Taylor, has welcomed the idea for this shopper, which will help the environment and also promote the town. She said: “These eco-bags are brilliant. They serve a dual purpose as they not only help the carbon footprint and are very strong, so will last for ages (think of the plastic bags we would now not need), but they are extremely well designed so as to fit a lot of shopping in them. At the same time, they are promoting Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon in a tasteful way which should appeal to the discerning shopper…and they make a very useful present. You can’t get a lot these days for £3.50.”
The idea for an iconic eco-bag has been championed enthusiastically by the TMP, whose CEO, Gary Barnes, said: “This is a unique opportunity for a town the size of Stratford to make a significant impact on plastic bag use, so we aim to make our eco-bags as widely available as possible. With the distinctive quill pen design associated with Shakespeare, the bags offer a great way for all of us to promote the town and everything it stands for throughout the world.”
For more information about Stratford-upon-Avon Town Management Partnership, please contact Gary Barnes, 01789 299011 or visit the website: www.stratfordtcm.co.uk
Jutexpo was set up in 2002 by entrepreneur Barrie Turner and current production is running at a million bags each month, which Barrie calculates has saved more than 1.2 billion plastic carriers being used each year.
Jute is a natural and sustainable resource and makes a fabric that is durable, strong and biodegradable
Jutexpo adheres to a strict ethical code of practice and fair trading policy, requiring all its suppliers to support and uphold the same beliefs. The company is regularly independently audited, most recently in September 2008.
Jutexpo has carbon neutral status and the process of fair-trade approval for jute is under way.
Tel: 01386 834777