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Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 06:58 GMT
Holy war on carrier bags
Shopper outside the Co-op in Dalston
Shoppers will be encouraged not to use carrier bags
A vicar in Cumbria has decided to make November a plastic bag-free month.

The Reverend Jane Natrass, of St Michael's Church, in Dalston, has joined forces with the the local Co-op store to help cut the number of carrier bags used by shoppers.

She came up with the idea after listening to news reports from the Earth Summit, which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, earlier this year.

Shoppers in the UK currently use eight billion carrier bags every year and countries which have imposed taxes on the use of the bags have seen a considerable fall in the number used.

The Rev Jane Natrass
The Reverend Jane Natrass had the bag ban idea

People using the store in Dalston will be asked to think twice about using a plastic carrier bag when purchasing their goods throughout November.

Reverend Natrass told BBC Look North: "I listened to the news reports from the Earth Summit at the end of August

"It was announced that the Irish had had a 10p tax on their carrier bags and the use of carrier bags went down by 90%.

"I thought that the Co-op in Dalston could do this and the parishioners of Dalston can stop using carrier bags and try and change their shopping habits."

Shoppers in the village have reacted positively to the carrier bag ban, but Reverend Natrass admits there have been a few teething problems.

She said: "People have said to me 'Jane, I went to town and I tried not to use a carrier bag, but I came back with seven'."

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The BBC's Adrian Pitches
"they are thinking global by acting local"

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See also:

21 Oct 02 | England
08 May 02 | UK
04 Mar 02 | Europe
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