Eco-friendly bag to promote Winchester

Winchester City Council's tourism service is producing a new, reusable bag which will double-up as  a handy shopping carrier and  eco-friendly souvenir for visitors. Local residents were given the chance to decide on the final line-up of images which will appear in the final design.

Featuring an attractive design by local artist collective The Colour Factory, the bag will incorporate iconic aspects of Winchester and the surrounding district into a fun and contemporary style. Residents were asked to help create the design by voting for the images they’d like to see included.

The simple icons, together with the strapline ‘Winchester – bags to do’, will raise the profile of Winchester and the surrounding district as an exciting destination with activities to suit all ages and tastes. Examples of icons include the Round Table, Winchester Cathedral, a steam train, watercress, theatre masks and a butterfly.

As part of the design process, Winchester’s tourism service consulted residents and visitors using an online survey, with respondents given the option of entering into a prize draw for a free bag.

The Winchester bag will be made from 100% unbleached cotton and will be stronger and larger than the free plastic carrier bags provided by most shops. The idea is that it can be reused many times and won't end up in a landfill site, helping Winchester to be even more environmentally friendly.

Cllr Frank Pearson, Winchester City Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said:

"We are committed to developing a responsible tourism industry for the district. The production of this bag follows our launch earlier in the year of the Green Leaf Tourism Scheme and is one further part of an ongoing programme of environmentally friendly initiatives which our tourism service is leading locally."

Tourism marketing and development manager Ellen Simpson added:

"We hope that local shops will be keen to stock the bag. Whilst there are many reusable bags around now, this will be unique to the Winchester district – designed by local artists with input from local residents to reflect the best of the district."

Once the bag has been produced it will be available to purchase at £2.99 from Winchester Tourist Information Centre and local attractions.