Tesco replaces single use carriers with new ‘Bag for Life’
Tesco is to replace all its single use carrier bags with a new ‘Bag for Life’ made from 94% recycled plastic.
With the change taking place from 28 August, the new bag will be priced at 10p and sales will fund community projects across the UK.
The move follows a ten-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, where Tesco found that customers bought significantly fewer bags during the pilot. Sales of bags in trial stores have since reduced by 25%.
Tesco said it has given out 1.5 billion fewer single use bags since the introduction of the carrier bag charge in England in 2015, but still sells over 700 million each year. Bags for Life are replaced for free if damaged.
Matt Davies, UK and ROI chief executive at Tesco, said: “The number of bags being bought by our customers has already reduced dramatically. Today’s 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: “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.”
Tesco’s 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 that it will be removing single-use wine carriers and lowering the price of its ‘Carry me bottle bag’ from £1 to 40p.
The new Bag for Life will continue to fund Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme which awards grants to local community projects. The supermarket’s customers vote for their favourite local project by picking up a blue token at the checkout each time they shop. Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has provided more than £33 million to over 6,400 local community projects.
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