Manx National Heritage, responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man’s heritage and culture as well as maintaining and preserving its biodiversity and natural landscapes, is introducing new biodegradable carrier bags, which will be offered to customers for a 5p charge.
All of the money raised from the sale of the bags will be directed to the Biodiversity fund, a dedicated fund under the stewardship of the Trustees of the Manx Museum and National Trust. This policy is being introduced following new awareness of issues around single use bags but also offers the opportunity to actively raise funds to support local Biodiversity initiatives.
The fund was set up in 2013 to support the objectives of the Island’s biodiversity strategy. It was created to generate funds to not only manage, protect and conserve aspects of the Island’s natural and marine heritage and wildlife in Manx National Heritage’s care, but also to support the wider biodiversity sector and rural community through partnerships, advice, joint workings and sharing of expertise. The main criteria for the use of this fund will be ‘significant long-lasting benefit’ to Manx Biodiversity, starting with highest priority species and habitats.
The bag is 100% biodegradable which means that if it is exposed to sunlight, oxygen and heat it degrades into relatively harmless residue.
Manx National Heritage’s biodiversity programme includes tracking and monitoring the population of domestic and migratory birds through the Bird Observatory on the Calf of Man and working with volunteer groups at Manx National Heritage sites and in key habitats such as the Curragh. Practical projects this year have included a continuing programme of monitoring for the presence of longtails (brown rats) on the Calf of Man to protect nesting Manx Shearwaters and other breeding seabirds.
Edmund Southworth, Director, Manx National Heritage, commented:
“Providing customers with a low cost convenient way to carry their purchases is a requirement of any professional retail organisation. Although the Isle of Man’s legislation does not currently make charging compulsory, MNH believes it is important that customers attach a value to the bag that they are given with their purchase. By charging customers we want to encourage repeat usage of bags and reduce the number of bags handed out at our sites. The bags that we have sourced are 100% degradable to leave no lasting impact on the environment.”
Notes to editors:
The bags have been manufactured using components developed by EPI global, the developer, licensor and distributor of Totally Degradable Plastic Additives (TDPA®). EPI’s technology has been designed to control and manage the lifetime of products made from the most common plastics used by modern society.
For further information, please contact:
Lynsey Clague, Heritage Communications Manager, Manx National Heritage
t: (01624) 648032