Feature News — 18 November 2017

Jutexpo is celebrating its 15th anniversary by confirming its position as the world’s biggest supplier of reusable jute bags, with sales topping 65 million bags since the company was formed in 2002.

The firm, which has more than 80 per cent of the UK market, was formed by father and son Barrie and Sam Turner after they spotted a gap in the market for reusable bags to minimise plastic bag usage.

Barrie had spent time in India researching the jute fabric and its production process, enabling them to supply sustainable, high quality bags made of a strong, ethically produced alternative.

What began as a small business in the back room of Barrie’s house in Worcestershire developed into the world’s leading eco-friendly bag company, with customers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, National Trust and the Royal British Legion.

Its production now includes Juco, an increasingly popular finer weave option which is made up of a blend of 75% jute and 25% cotton.

Shoppers using environmentally friendly, reusable jute bags have helped reduced demand for plastic bags by more than six billion since the introduction of the tax on single use plastic carriers in England in 2015.

The company’s jute bag production rose from 5.5million bags per year before the English plastic bag tax was introduced to 8.5million in the year of the bag tax and 7million a year since.

It operates to the Jutexpo Standard, a set of the 10 key elements it considers to be the minimum when it comes to ethical and technical standards, awards and credentials.

Sam Turner, compliance director of Jutexpo, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating our 15th anniversary and are extremely proud of our track record of supplying more than 65million ethically produced and environmentally friendly bags, which are helping to reduce the world’s reliance on plastic.

“A jute bag replaces the need for as many as 624 disposable plastic bags over its four-year lifespan.

“The UK market has seen the supply of around 19.37million jute bags in the last two years. That means that this fully sustainable alternative has reduced demand for single use plastic bags by 6.04billion, with all the environmental benefits which go with that.

“But that is only part of the story. We are committed to best practice and high standards for our staff and the production of our Jute bags

“Our ethical production is fundamental to the integrity of our bags and we are proud to be leading the market with our standards.“

The new 5p charge for single use plastic bags was introduced in England on October 5 2015 to help reduce litter and protect wildlife. Similar bag taxes were introduced in Scotland in 2014, Northern Ireland in 2013 and Wales in 2011.

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