MARSH shops are set to become plastic bag-free.
Seventeen of the districts independent shops and retailers are handing out cornstarch biodegradable bags to customers.
It is part of a scheme aimed at reducing the number of plastic and non-recyclable bags given to shoppers.
The Cafe Leon is one of the retailers taking part in the scheme.
Cafe owner Rachel Berry said: “We do have quite a few shoppers coming in with their own carrier bags already.
“People are becoming more aware of the need to recycle them so when I do offer them a carrier bag a lot of people are saying no.
“Since we have been giving away the cornstarch bags, I think people have been surprised how like a normal carrier bag they are.
“Hopefully we will get some more and keep using them.”
Bagfree Marsh is an environment group working in conjunction with the Marsh Forum.
The campaign group is encouraging local shopkeepers to use cornstarch bags.
The environmentally-friendly bags are being offered to shoppers as an alternative to plastic bags. They can be re-used and are fully compostable.
Green campaigner Kate Armstrong said: “We are trying to give Marsh traders the opportunity to offer biodegradable bags as an alternative to plastic bags.
“Shopkeepers have been extremely positive about the scheme.
“I think it will be public pressure that will, in the end, bring about change and encourage the high street chain shops to follow the local, independent traders.”
The scheme has the support of Kirklees Council. The cornstarch bags were provided by Biopac.
Steven Leigh, senior policy adviser for the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, is also backing the move.
He said: “We support the initiatives which will help to protect the environment and we welcome the campaign to encourage traders in Marsh to offer biodegradable, fully compostable bags.
“This is an initiative fully in line with government thinking and the Prime Minister has recently given his support to the efforts being made to drastically reduce the usage of plastic bags throughout Great Britain.”
Shops taking part in the scheme are All About Flowers, The Samaritans, Medicare Chemist, Homecare, Patricia’s Fashions, Heavenly Bodies, Marsh Post Office, Big Baps, Natural Choice, Cafe Leon, Don’t Forget, Food 4 U, CW Peach Chemist, AC and S Whitehead, Costcutters, Tiffany Park and Style Tec.