A NEW action group is being launched next week in a bid to spread grassroots environmental action across Ryedale.

Malton and Norton Environment Action will hold its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, June 11, at The Mount Hotel, at 7pm.

The group is part of the Ryedale Environment Group (REG), which launched last autumn, and is a new addition to the network of people who want to take action on green issues across the district, including those in Pickering, Kirkbymoorside and Hovingham.

One of the members, Di Keal, from Norton, said: “In the current climate there is a huge appetite locally to reduce single-use plastic, increase recycling opportunities, increase our use of renewable energy and reduce our carbon footprint.

“The Malton and Norton Environment Group will promote local action around these themes and encourage people to get involved and take steps towards making our community more environmentally friendly.

“We want local people who are interested in getting involved to come along and hear more about what the group hopes to achieve locally - there has never been a more important time to tackle these issues.”

The first meeting will include a presentation from Pickering Stitchers who make fabric Morsbags, which are given away free to encourage people to reduce their use of plastic bags. The group works with donated fabrics.

Daryl Cattaneo, from Pickering Stitchers, said: “Morsbags is a worldwide organisation aimed at eliminating the use of plastic bags. We use recycled fabric to make shopping bags which are given away free, and these can be used for many years.

“We are all aware of the damage that plastic bags do to wildlife and the environment and we feel we must do what we can to make a difference.”

The group hopes to begin its activities with a Give and Take Event during the summer, when people can donate unwanted items, which are “recycled” by others taking them who can use them.

For details phone 01653 694546 or go to Facebook and search for Ryedale Environment Group