Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, hopes the move will cut bag sales, reducing litter and the amount of waste sent to landfill. The move starts at the end of the month following a ten week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich which led to a 25% cut in bag sales because shoppers were either bringing their own or bought bags for life. The bags for life are made from 94% recycled plastic and can be exchanged for new ones absolutely free of charge if they become damaged or worn out.
Since the introduction of the carrier bag charge in 2015, Tesco have given out 1.5 less single use bags, but still sell more than 700 million per year. Ending the sale of single use bags, beginning 28th August, it is forecast that the number of single use bags will be significantly reduced and so reduce litter and the number of bags sent to landfill.
Online customers will still be able to opt for single use carrier bags for their shopping or select a bagless delivery, which 57% of Tesco’s online customers are now doing. Tesco also revealed today that it will be removing single-use wine carriers and lowering the price of its ‘Carry me bottle bag’ from £1 to 40p.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:
“Since we introduced the 5p charge in 2015, the number of single-use plastic bags taken home has plummeted by 83%”.
“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.”
Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has provided more than £33 million to over 6,400 local community projects, including: