CHARITY shops say donations are down after a new clothes recycling scheme trial was launched.

Braintree District Council has launched the blue bag scheme in Halstead encouraging people to recycle their old clothes.

But Jackie Argent, who is the shop manager at the British Red Cross shop in Weavers Court, Halstead, said she had noticed a decline in how much is being donated since it began.

She said: “We’ve seen a more donations over the past week or so from people who have been having sort outs over Easter but before then there had been less coming in.

“It’s easier for people to leave things out for collection rather than them bringing them to us but I’d encourage them to keep bringing us things.

“There has been a dip but it’s not been disastrous for us and luckily we’re right by the car park so we seem to be the first stop for a lot of people.”

The Braintree Council trial began in December and is running for a six month period in partnership with Essex Textiles.

It is also being trialled at homes in Coggeshall and Feering.

Once sorted, the clothes are sent oversees to developing countries and unusable items are recycled.

A spokesman for Braintree District Council said: “We are trialling a textile recycling service as part of our kerbside recycling scheme involving approximately 8,000 homes in the Coggeshall, Feering and Halstead areas to reduce the amount of textiles being thrown away in grey bins.

“There is no obligation on residents to use the service and they can still donate their unwanted textiles to a charity of their choice.

“We will review the impact of the trial and the feedback we have received.”