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WALES: Biodegradable bags are plastic fantastic - Bates

August 3, 2004 12:00 AM

AM Mick Bates has praised the Co-op supermarket chain for its attempts to reduce the damaging amount of plastic packaging sent to landfill sites.

The Co-op is to introduce biodegradeable plastic bags for its bread - some 55million items every year. This biodegradable plastic packaging will decompose in four years - conventional polythene bags endure for 100 years.

Mick Bates, Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesman on the environment, said: "Supermarkets have a major role to play in combating waste, and this move by the Co-op has set a new standard for others to follow. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of waste our contemporary lifestyles create and I'm sure this action will be welcomed.

"I know that competition between supermarkets is fiercer than ever, but I'm sure that there is a competitive advantage to be gained from giving the environment a higher priority."

Mr Bates recently wrote to major supermarket chains urging them all to play a greater role in reducing the amount of waste - and plastic in particular - which ends up in landfill sites across Wales.

Welsh Liberal Democrats are campaigning for action to tackle Wales' growing waste problem at the National Eisteddfod in Newport next week. Hundreds of Eisteddfod-goers have already signed a petition calling on the government to encourage local authorities to provide doorstep recycling for all.