Kew Gardens lead the way in plastic free zone

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew is contributing to making the area Londons first plastic bag free zone.

The Gardens has joined up with more than 50 independent traders in the Kew area in removing plastic bags from circulation.

Even Tesco, which initially refused to budge on "company policy", will keep plastic bags under the counter and will only issue them on request.

All of the participating stores have agreed to issue biodegradable cornstarch bags that can be composed and although customers may be charged for these, Kew Society chairman Michael Glazebrook is hopeful that "Greener Kew" will be an inspiration to others.

"We hope to show other villages and towns all over the country what they can and should do to change things if they get together," he said.

"All things are possible."

Shops have been giving out fridge magnets as reminders to customers to bring their own bags.

Composting bags can help fertilize your garden and save the environment; around 15 billion plastic bags are used every year in the UK alone.