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March 17, 2008

This week Tesco have been talking to the Aberdeenshire Council in regard to their wish to build a new store on the outer edge of Banchory and, this weekend, they held a consultative process with Banchory residents.

 I will leave aside the arguments for or against whether Banchory needs a new supermarket [at least, for the moment] and just concentrate on the issue of plastic bags.

In their presentation to Councillors, two of the local Councillors reported to me that Tesco had stressed the point that they would hide plastic carrier bags under the counter and only give them out when customers requested them – as they have done in North Berwick.  However, when I asked the Corporate Affairs Manager to confirm this, she said that: “No, she hadn’t stressed that point, and had only indicated the North Berwick action as an example of an action they might be able to take.”

I have since been lobbying the Councillors to incorporate this action into the conditions set for the development to go ahead.

 Tesco are stressing that the store will be an ‘Eco-Store’  and ‘one of the most advanced, low carbon Tesco stores to date’ and the fact that they will be using onsite renewables, dimmable electric lights, timber from sustainable forests, energy efficiency is good but in their literature they only say:

We encourage the re-use of our carrier bags by offering extra club card points and we’ve pledged to reduce packaging by 25%, by 2010.

I still believe the Council need to pin them down in writing to not having plastic carrier bags visible on the top of any of the check-outs in this store.

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