The 16 retailers in the village of Tisbury, near Salisbury stopped offering customers plastic bags from yesterday in a bid to go green.
Many supermarkets and other retailers have already signed up to WRAP’s pledge to cut their carrier bag use by 25 per cent by the end of this year, a move which could reduce CO2 emissions by 63 tons a year – equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road.
Tisbury's retailers’ decision came after resident John Bickersteth, the former Bishop of Bath & Wells put forward the proposal.
He said: “The breakthrough came when the Co-op, the only supermarket in town, agreed to come on board. I then spoke to the traders, nearly all of whom were really enthusiastic and said they would join in. One or two said they didn’t really use plastic bags anyway.”
Liz Crossley, the owner of De-Liz Delicatessen in the village is positive the move will be a success.
She said: “We have been charging 2p each plastic bag, which does makes customers stop and think a bit. It’s all a question of re-educating people to remember their reusable bags.
“More and more people are refusing plastic bags, but this initiative will take a while to be a real success.”
The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has supplied the retailers with cotton bags to sell to customers for £1.25.