HEMSWORTH students have taken the next step in making the town a plastic bag-free area.
Clea Lindley, Stacy Ormond, Ellis Feher and Laura Wilson, from Hemsworth Arts and Community College, have now started giving away their free, reusable cotton bags to local shoppers.
The pupils, who received a 2,500 grant from Hemsworth Town Council for the project, are hoping the scheme, which is part of a sustainable schools project, will quickly catch on.
The bags, which sport a fashionable logo partly designed by local primary school children, are also available from the town council offices, The Windsurfer pub in Hemsworth Water Park and local shops.
Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to decay, causing untold damage to the environment.
Cath Sykes, who helped the girls co-ordinate the project, said: “The bags are being given away in local shops and the council offices and the girls have been out and about in Hemsworth as well. Local supermarkets have had 400 bags between them and they are proving very popular. Iceland has run out already.
“I spotted a few people using them while I’ve been driving through Hemsworth, so that’s good. The comments we have had back have all been very positive and it seems the people of Hemsworth are really embracing the idea of a carrier bag-free town.”
Tina Pattison, the council’s town clerk, said: “The bags are going like wild fire. They are really popular. People are picking them up when they come in the offices and we have even had a few who have come in especially to get a bag.
“I think they will become even more popular once residents see other people using them for their shopping.”