Tesco has announced that from 28 August it will replace its single-use 5p carrier bags with new Bags for Life – made from 94% recycled plastic – sales of which will fund community projects across the UK.
The announcement follows a successful ten-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, where Tesco found that customers bought significantly fewer bags.
The supermarket says that sales of bags in trial stores have since reduced by 25% and customers found that the Bag for Life, which is replaceable for free if damaged, helped them change to re-useable bags.
Online customers will still be able to opt for single use carrier bags for their shopping or select a bagless delivery.
The new Bag for Life will continue to fund Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, delivered with Groundwork, which sees local community projects across Great Britain awarded grants.
Responding to news, Friends of the Earth campaigner Henry Chown said: “We’re delighted Tesco is replacing disposable bags with bags for life – we hope other retailers follow suit. This initiative builds on the tremendous success of the government’s bag charge, which has seen a dramatic reduction in plastic bags and cut pollution in our towns, seas and countryside.”
“This shows that shoppers and businesses will take positive action when the government leads. We now need similar moves to tackle disposable coffee cups and plastic bottles.”
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.