PLASTIC shopping bags could be a thing of the past in Chippenham as the town's supermarkets could stop supplying them.

Supermarkets including Coop and Somerfields have said they would be willing to discuss the plan to withdraw plastic bags from their stores.

If the ban comes into force, Chippenham will be the biggest town in the West to introduce the initiative.

Stephen Eads, of North Wiltshire Friends of the Earth said: "We really need to try and reduce the amount of plastic used by retailers in the town.

"Obviously customers need something to take their goods home with them - but this could be a fabric shopping bag or paper bag.

"The retailers need to find a sensible alternative as well as eliminating their current amount of plastic bags."

A similar ban has already been successfully introduced in the village of Tisbury, which banned plastic bags in shops on January 1 this year.

Chippenham town clerk Laurie Brown said: "I am sure that the town council will support anything that is environmentally friendly.

"Being a Fair Trade town we are interested in becoming more economic and environmentally sound."

The news has been met with a mixed reaction in the town, with some people supporting the ban and others less sure.

Lucy Elm, 24, of Park Lane said: "In principal, I think the idea is admirable, but I don't think it will work.

"People wont like the fact that they will have to take bags with them when they go shopping and run the risk of not having enough.

"I think people should try and only take bags at the supermarkets when they need them and not to take more than necessary."

Thomas Bracknell, 17, from Chippenham, said: "I think this is the best idea that the supermarkets have had in a long time.

"I see loads of bags dumped in the river along Monkton Park and it only takes a duck to get caught in it to cause a problem.

"I think people rely to much on plastic bags and containers and it all ends up in landfill anyway.

"I fully support the initiative and hope it is embraced by more people in Chippenham."

There is currently no date set for the meeting to take place.

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