A PIONEERING scheme in Somerset to make better use of the humble carrier bag is being expanded nationwide.

Co-operative food stores have been selling compostable carrier bags that can carry shopping home and then be re-used as food waste bin liners or to help with in home composting.

The 6p bags have proved a big success and will now be rolled out to about 400 stores across the country in the 81 council areas that collect food waste.

Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) managing director Steve Read said: “The Co-operative’s provision of compostable carrier bags is an excellent initiative.

“It saves them having to buy special liners, and has encouraged more people to support our food waste collections.”