Banbury’s Artery vows to go plastic free

Barry Whitehouse of The Artery, Banbury. Paper and degradable bags are now being used instead of plastic bags. NNL-180123-123817009
Barry Whitehouse of The Artery, Banbury. Paper and degradable bags are now being used instead of plastic bags. NNL-180123-123817009

A Banbury town centre independent trader has vowed to eliminate plastic bags in favour of paper or biodegradable alternatives.

The Artery, in Parsons Street, is owned by artist Barry Whitehouse who has been inspired into action following high street giant Iceland’s announcement they are banning plastic bags from their chain of stores last week.

Barry said: “ We’ve decided to go plastic free as much as possible in terms of our own packaging and selling.

“We’ve ditched all of our carrier bags and we’ve gone for either paper or biodegradable plastic.”

Plastic pollution has received an enormous amount of media coverage in recent weeks resulting in both government and retailers starting a number of initiatives to combat our reliance on plastic items.

The Artery has already removed all its carrier bags and replaced them with eco-friendly alternatives but the decision has come at a cost.

Barry said: “What people don’t realise is the more eco, brown paper bags can be more than four times the price of a plastic carrier bag.

“A basic carrier bag costs 4 pence, an equivalent, good quality brown paper bag is 24 pence.

“People think that being eco and environmentally friendly is cheaper so they don’t want an extra charge on it. Some offer to pay anyway but we don’t really enforce charging for bags.

He added: “If you want to pay for your bag that’s fine.”