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Compostable carrier bags that double as food waste caddy-liners are soon to be available in GM!

Carrier bags in Greater Manchester are going Green

Now retailers across Greater Manchester will be able to offer their customers a fantastic dual-use bag called the ‘Green Carrier’. The bag doubles as a strong carrier bag and a large food waste caddy-liner.

Green Carrier launched at the Mayor’s Green Summit

Compostable carriers can soon be bagged by any retailer in Greater Manchester as part of the region’s ambitious environmental vision.

The Greater Manchester Green Summit launched the city-region’s 5-Year Environment Plan to take action against the major environmental challenges that threaten the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the region.

Thousands of retailer’s in the region will be able to purchase cost neutral compostable carrier bags for use in their own stores from next month.

“Best of all, retailers can buy these eco-friendly bags for 5p and charge 5p, so it won’t cost them anything to offer Green Carriers instead of single-use plastic bags.”

Shoppers who forget their bag for life could purchase the compostable carrier for 5p. The bags have a dual use as a food waste caddy liner, before local authority home food waste collections turn the food waste and bag into peat free compost – reducing unsightly litter and its harm to animals and marine life by keeping plastic out of the environment.

The green carriers are available to all retailer’s operating within the ten boroughs of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The compostable carrier bags were first trialed by the Co-op with Oldham Council – where local authority cost savings and greater levels of resident engagement on recycling were recorded. Co-op rolled out similar compostable carrier bags across more than 1,000 of its food stores in late 2018, following a trial in Greater Manchester. The bags have also been seen on Coronation Street. The Co-op’s compostable carrier are initially available in areas where the local authority accepts them as part of household food waste recycling collections. The not for profit bags, also priced at 5p, have replaced around 60M single-use plastic bags in Co-op food stores alone.

Michael Fletcher, Co-op’s Retail Chief Commercial Officer said: “Manchester has a great opportunity to show the world what level of ambition is required and, how to get on with it. It has to be our long term aim to find more sustainable alternative solutions to plastic, plus the delivery of a series of changes that we could take today – that consumers not only understand but, if acted upon, would make a huge difference to the momentum for change.”

“Co-op has the lowest plastic footprint of any retailer and, we are committed to eradicating single use plastic from our stores. We have removed polystyrene from pizza bases, plastic from our cotton buds, and do not sell any products containing plastic microbeads. Last year Co-op rolled-out compostable carriers to over 1,000 stores, and I am pleased to announce that similar bags will be available through an initiative with GMCA, sharing knowledge and, co-operating, to enable every retailer in Greater Manchester to access compostable bags for their customers.”

Councillor Alex Ganotis, Portfolio Lead for Green City Region, added: “We face urgent and significant environmental challenges in Greater Manchester – the global impacts of climate change and environmental decline have been widely acknowledged as among the greatest economic and public health threats of this century.

“Our Five Year Environment Plan sets out how we will tackle these challenges in Greater Manchester, meeting our environmental responsibilities, alongside securing our economic future and wellbeing. To do this, it sets out a range of policies and commitments, as well as proposing actions that we all need to take to secure an excellent environment for our city region and contribute our fair share to tackling global climate change.

“Greater Manchester has a history of industrial and social innovation and we need to harness this to make sure everyone here can grow up and live in a clean and green city region, with good quality housing and secure jobs in the future economy.”

Retailer’s can register their interest for compostable carriers now, and find out more, by visiting:

Sign the pledge


On this site you’ll find lots of information, advice and guidance to help you reduce the amount of single-use plastics you use. We want to help you make the right choices – whether that’s choosing to remove some products (always the best option), choosing a re-usable alternative (next best option) or switching to easily recyclable items.

The first step is to sign our pledge and commit to take action to reduce avoidable single-use plastics across Greater Manchester. By making a commitment today you can help to make Greater Manchester one of the greenest UK city regions. We are always adding new content to our site so keep checking back for further information.  

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