Market traders are at the forefront of fight to cut back on plastic

PUBLISHED: 07:42 18 June 2019

 Councillor Trilby Roberts, with market traders Nigel Sault, Nicola Auger, Mohammad Moshtagh and Louise Yellowlees of Saffron Walden Against Climate Change

Councillor Trilby Roberts, with market traders Nigel Sault, Nicola Auger, Mohammad Moshtagh and Louise Yellowlees of Saffron Walden Against Climate Change

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Stall holders in Saffron Walden Market are taking steps that are drastic against plastic.

Leaving the supermarkets standing, many are now using biodegradable packaging and others are also offering to fill up reusable containers that their customers bring.

Many stalls are doing both in a new scheme launched on June 11.

Nicola Auger, of Saffron Wholefoods, takes a pride in the fact that all the produce her business packages, including nuts, seeds, cereals and dried fruit, is now sold in biodegradable, compostable cellulose packets.

She says: "I will also happily fill up any containers that my customers bring to me."

Nigel Sault, who runs the Master Coffee van, is offering coffee in biodegradable cups and lids as well as providing re-useable mugs made from bamboo with matching lids for those on the go.

He told the Reporter: "If you bring one of those to my mobile coffee shop, or simply bring your favourite mug from home, I will serve you a large coffee for the price of a small one."

On the Borough Olives stall, Mohammad Moshtagh will refill any of his neat little pots time and again.

He will use his wooden ladle to fill up any containers customers bring.

He says: "The same pots can be re-used every week for years and stay completely watertight - or, as it were, olive oil tight."

Other stall holders say they are equally keen to help shoppers avoid plastic bags, bottles and wrappers.

Newly elected Councillor Trilby Roberts, who first championed the initiative as a representative of Uttlesford Green Party, said: "If people just take their own carriers to the vegetable stall, the greengrocers will tip the fruit and vegetables straight in, just like they did in the sixties.

"In fact, whether it's the Spanish ham stall, the fish stall, the perfume stall or the bread stall, they all seem keen to pop their wares into your bags and containers.

"The movement to be kinder to our environment is gaining momentum across the country and our market is helping out enthusiastically.

"Every time people shop, they can make a difference and the market traders in the town are meeting them more than half-way."

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