The Guardian will become the first national paper to ditch individual polybags for inserts supplements, instead using wrappings made from potato starch.

The switchover began last weekend for stores in London, Kent, Essex, Hertforshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, with the rest of the UK to follow over the next several months.

The Guardian said polythene had previously been used to “meet the demands of retailers”. Store owners and roundsmen told RN they were in favour of the move, but warned it may mean a dry space is required to store inserts when delivered.

Ralph Patel, from the Look In in Woodmansterne, Surrey, said: “Polybagged inserts used to be left outside without a problem, but without the plastic, retailers need to be aware that they
may now need a covered area for them.

“The Telegraph previously trialled a reusable plastic bagging which could solve the problem.”

“There wasn’t a noticeable difference,” said John Vine, from NewsWorld in Church Stretton, who stressed that getting the magazines to arrive at all was his primary focus.

The Mail and The Times said they are also looking to remove plastic bagging.

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