Council could stop supplying recycling bags in South Gloucestershire

March 06 2019
Council could stop supplying recycling bags in South Gloucestershire

RECYCLING bags could soon be on their way out, with all residents instead having to store their recycling in green boxes.

South Gloucestershire Council officers are recommending the authority stop supplying green and white woven plastic bags for people to use when putting out their recycling for weekly collections.

They say replacing them with green boxes would save the council £100,000 a year, reduce plastic waste and cut the area’s carbon emissions.

But more than a third of residents who replied to a 12-week consultation which ended in January were opposed the idea, a council report shows.

Many older or disabled people who responded said they did not think they would be able to take their recycling to the kerbside if their bags were replaced with boxes.

Many people chose to keep using the bags when offered a choice before recycling collections went weekly in 2017.

Paul Hughes, the council’s cabinet member for communities, must decide whether bags will no longer be an option for household recycling.

The report says the council spends £80,000 a year importing the non-recyclable plastic bags from China and another £40,000 a year on delivering replacements when the bags blow away or deteriorate.

Crews could replace them with UK-manufactured boxes when they deliver the other bins for a total cost of just £20,000, making a net saving of £100,000, the report says.

The report also says boxes would also make it easier and safer for crews to sort recycling.

Officers said an assisted collection service was available for people who found it difficult to put out their rubbish or manage a green bin.

But they also noted that boxes are more difficult to store, especially for those living in smaller properties, and take up more space on the pavement, getting in the way of people with wheelchairs, pushchairs and walking frames.

By Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporting Service