In the process of discussing an ongoing serious problem of a refrigeration nature with Lloyd Bakewell (more on that issue in the future), we ambled onto other subjects. Lloyd and his wife Sue, who trade in the village of Thornton, near Leicester, fell into recycling plastic bags about six months ago.

When Lloyd told me this I assumed he was collecting these bags and somehow recycling them into something else. But they are, in fact, doing the next best thing by getting people to bring their plastic bags for Lloyd and Sue to re-use.

"We get 20 to 30 a week," says Lloyd. "Some of them smell of smoke but we hang them on the line and then they're just fine."

The couple have also judged the plastic bags on their various merits. "We reckon Waitrose bags are the best for carrying any weight," says Lloyd.

It's generous of them to advertise the competition, but if it helps the environment...

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