Bin bags dumped by businesses under trees are sabotaging an environmental project aimed at limiting the use of herbicides, it is claimed.

The Seeds for Snaresbrook Project, started by Wanstead and Woodford Friends of the Earth (FoE) last month, involves planting bee-friendly flowers in High Street, Wanstead, to limit the spread of weeds and remove the need to use harmful herbicides.

It was supported by Redbridge Council, which ceased using herbicides in the area.

But those involved in the project say it is now being undermined by businesses leaving bags of rubbish around trees which deter growth.

In a joint statement, FoE co-ordinators Diana Korchien and Ann Williams said: “The practice of leaving mounds of rubbish bags piled up for collection around the base of street trees is smothering our seeds.”

“Can the council not provide wheelie bins and permanent bays for the use of High Street residents and shop-owners instead of allowing this unsavoury and visually polluting practice to continue?”

Businesses are currently told by Redbridge Council to leave rubbish bags out on collection days if they do not have wheelie bins.

Redbridge council has been approached for a comment.