THE council could work with supermarkets to use fewer carrier bags, offer residents low-cost composting, and encourage household solar panels and wind turbines, according to a climate change report.

Other steps could include recycling roadshows, and a move towards carbon neutral developments.

The ideas were put forward in Darlington Borough Councils economy and environment scrutiny committee climate change action plan.

It considered steps to reduce environmental damage in planning, transport, and waste.

In total, 21 ideas were suggested in the plan. They included: ñ Working with supermarkets to encourage a reduction in the use of carrier bags and plastic containers; ñ Offering low-cost composting to householders; ñ Promoting home composting and recycling through roadshows and high-profile events; ñ Helping households make use of small-scale solar, wind, and other appropriate renewable energy; ñ Consulting on planning policies to move towards carbon neutral developments.

All council scrutiny committees are examining how they can reduce their impact on climate change, as has the Darlington Partnership, which brings together private, public, voluntary and community sectors.

Last month, the partnership said Darlington could become the greenest town in the country.

In July, Councillor Veronica Copeland was appointed to the new position of cabinet member for sustainable environment and climate change. When asked yesterday what impact Darlington could have on a global problem, she said: The council can do quite a lot C we are a big employer and do have a lot of buildings.

It is up to us to help educate people. We need to get our own house in order before we start lecturing other people. Its important we raise the profile and encourage people.

A lot of people are talking about climate change, but are not sure what they can do. If we dont get the response from people, then we will have to look at other ways.

We want to show people that what they do does have an impact.

I think the council has taken the first big step by creating this post C it is rising up the agenda.

Coun Copeland said other proposals, including converting council vehicles to bio-fuels, were being considered.