UK’s Largest Supermarket Discontinuing Single-Use Bags

Connector Summer 2017

TESCO has scrapped 5p carrier bags and it means that forgetful shoppers will have to pay for a more expensive bag for life instead.

The single use carrier bag, synonymous with the supermarket, has been replaced with a new Bag For Life costing 10p.

Since August 28, Tesco shoppers have no longer been able to buy a 5p bag.

It follows a trial at three stores in Dundee, Aberdeen and Norwich where customers have not had the 5p bags since May.

Since the law changed in October 2015, larger retailers have had to charge customers for plastic bags.

Usage of single-use carrier bags has dropped by more than 85 per cent, according to government figures.

The UK’s biggest supermarket says that it has given out 1.5 billion fewer single-use bags since the rule change, but that it still sells over 700 million a year.

It believes that removing single use carrier bags will significantly reduce the number of bags sold, and help cut litter and landfill.

In the past, money raised from the sale of the 5p plastic bag went to community groups and green projects. The supermarket confirmed this will continue to be funded by the sale of the new 10p bag.

The new bag for life is made of 94 per cent recycled plastic and will be replaced for free, if damaged.

Customers who order their shopping online will still be able to opt for a single use carrier bag for their shopping or select a bagless delivery.

Tesco also revealed that it will be removing single-use wine carriers and lowering the price of its ‘Carry me bottle bag’ from £1 to 40p.

Matt Davies, UK and Republic of Ireland CEO at Tesco, said: “The number of bags being bought by our customers has already reduced dramatically.

“This move will help our customers use even fewer bags but ensure that those sold in our stores continue to fund thousands of community projects across the country chosen by customers.

“It’s the right thing to do for the environment and for local communities.”

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey added: “I welcome Tesco wanting to go further and help their customers use even fewer plastic bags.

“The switch to a Bag for Life will continue to help reduce litter and boost recycling – helping to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.”

Source: The Sun, UK