‘I want to be part of the solution, not the problem,’ that was the explanation from a newagent owner who has taken a green pledge this month.
Matthew Blackstaffe, from Pagham Newsagents, 19 The Parade, is ditching the plastic in hopes it will encourage similar businesses to do the same.
He said: “If the large supermarkets can work to significantly reduce the amount of plastic that is being used, then there is no reason why small retailers like myself cannot do the same.
“Currently I do not charge for plastic bags as most of them are given to me free by suppliers.
“In the future I will no longer accept this incentive.”
Instead, as of Monday, Matthew is offering strong recycled paper carriers to his customers at cost price, eight pence each.
“I sent the notice out in their papers the week before and a lot of people have said good for you – I have had nothing but positive feedback.
“The customers that I have so far told are all very enthusiastic about this news, especially as we are so close to the beach and the problem of plastic pollution is obvious,” he added.
Estimating that he would usually get through 150 plastic bags a month, Matthew said ‘it does add up’.
“There is no thought about it, I have seen people put things in them and then get outside, take the items out and put the bag in the bin.
“I’ve seen bags I have given people blowing around outside here and thought it has to stop.
“It is about getting the message out there.
“I don’t want to sell the paper bags but I have them here if people need them. I would love to persuade people to bring their own bags with them, that is ideal.”
Matthew is now also launching a battery recycling initiative where customers can bring in old ones when they go to collect their shopping.