MALTON and Norton environment action group has begun work on two new community projects.

One group of volunteers is working towards encouraging local businesses to reduce their use of single-use plastics by promoting the use of paper bags, refill schemes and “bring your own box” in shops and is aiming at producing a “green directory” of shops and businesses.

A second group is looking to work with local people, the town and district councils to “re-wild” areas of the town by planting wild flowers.

Aron Bowes, who is leading on re-wilding, said: “The re-wilding project wishes to bring the beauty of native wildflowers to towns. At its heart the project is very simple, but with it comes a multitude of benefits; economically, environmentally, and mentally; and can only improve year on year. Anybody regardless of skill level is able to contribute and make a difference that matters for wildlife.”

The Malton and Norton Environmental Action Group is part of the wider Ryedale Environment Group launched last autumn and a new addition to a network of people who want to take action on green issues.

Di Keal, from Norton, said: “The Malton and Norton Group has made a great start with two smaller sub-groups already up and running on projects.

“Our second meeting was as full of enthusiasm as the first. Apart from prioritising two major projects in the towns, it also endorsed the Refill Malton scheme that has recently taken off in Malton and Norton.”

Refill Malton, set up by Libby Pearson, encourages local shops and businesses to allow anyone to pop in to their premises and ask staff to refill a water bottle with tap water, to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles.

Libby said: “Over 50 businesses and organisations have signed up to this national scheme since its launch in July. They know how important it is to reduce our plastic waste and really want to play their part in achieving that.”

The Morsbags Workshop will take place on September 14 at Ryedale Community and Leisure Centre. It is a free, but booking is essential. Email or phone 07867 680806. For group details, phone 01653 694546 or find them on Facebook.