A Worcestershire company is heading into the new year on an environmental high. Jutexpo, with a head office in Broadway, near Evesham, is leading shoppers back to a future without plastic bags.

The manufacturer of environmentally-friendly products made from jute has just supplied its 10 millionth bag to a workers' co-operative in Manchester and those it makes for National Trust shops are the charity's best-seller.

Jutexpo was set up in 2002 by entrepreneur Barrie Turner, who was confident that he could provide a practical and affordable alternative to plastic bags - which can take centuries to decompose and are a threat to wildlife.

The company now supplies bags to UK supermarkets, local authorities, schools, universities, libraries, national charities and businesses which include Ford and Jamie Oliver's Fifteen.

Jute - a natural fibre - is a renewable resource, sustainable and it can be turned into a fabric that is durable, strong and bio-degradable.

Mr Turner said: "In my view, the way forward in making people more aware of the damage we are doing to the planet is through education. If enough people are concerned and they have the will to change things, then they will change. I like to think we will see a return to old-style shopping by re-establishing the habit of taking the same bags to the shops week after week."

Mr Turner started Jutexpo with his own money and a government loan to fund a large investment in the UK and infrastructure in India. The bags are made at Jutexpo's factory in West Bengal, the centre of the world's jute production. They are of the best quality and hold their shape as they are packed. Prices start at about 99p. For the past nine months the Jutexpo bag has consistently topped the National Trust's poll in terms of volume and value. Despina Evangelides, the National Trust's buying manager, said: "We are committed to doing what we can to help the environment. This bag reaffirms that commitment. It has been extremely well-supported by our shops and enthusiastically welcomed by customers." Jutexpo has carbon neutral status and the process of FairTrade approval for jute is currently under way. Jutexpo is running a trial to grow organic jute and has an order from a major supermarket for half of the bags that will be made from it. The trial is on land certified organic by the Soil Association and is a global first. For details about Jutexpo's product range and stockists go to www.jutexpo.co.uk