PLASTIC bags for food waste caddies could soon be introduced across Torfaen after it was discovered that corn starch ones currently used cannot be composted.

Monmouthshire council has already agreed to switch to plastic liners in a bid to increase recycling and save £33,000 per year.

Torfaen council now looks set to follow, with a decision on the move set to be made by Cllr Fiona Cross, executive member for environment, next week.

Currently the council uses corn starch bags to line food waste caddies but these cannot be composted when food is disposed of in an anaerobic digestion process.

Instead, the bags are separated from the food waste and sent for incineration.

Torfaen, along with Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent councils, have all been told about the issue and advised to switch by their contractor.

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Using plastic bags reduces the amount of food waste that sticks to the liners and means more can be recycled.

It also allows residents to reuse single use plastic bags, such as bread bags, in caddies.

The move could save Torfaen council £36,000 - the amount it currently costs the authority to provide corn starch caddy liners free of charge to residents.

A council report says an opportunity has arisen for the three local authorities to get a supply of caddy liners at no cost, with a supply equivalent to 18-24 months thought to be available.

The report says: "All authorities are acutely aware of the public opinion on the use of single use plastics that currently exists, and all will share the concern of the inappropriate use of this material.

"In this instance however, the use of plastic for food waste is considered appropriate for a number of reasons."

As well as increasing the amount of food waste recycled, the move could also bring "a more transparent message," the report says.

It adds: "There is a risk that if the council does not provide the option to use plastic bags in food waste recycling, residents will remain under the impression that corn starch bags are being composted when they are in fact being disposed of via an energy from waste facility."

Last year the council considered removing caddy liners as part of budget savings, but the plan was not implemented following concerns it would impact recycling rates and have a "detrimental effect" on the authority's reputation.

Blaenau Gwent council is also said to be supportive of the move to plastic caddy liners.