Tesco will be scrapping the 5p single use carrier bags later this month, replacing them with a new ‘Bag for Life’ made from 94 per cent recycled plastic.
From August 28 the new bag will be priced at 10p and sales will fund community projects across Britain.
It’s the right thing to do for the environment and for local communities
The announcement follows a successful 10-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, where Tesco found that customers bought significantly fewer bags.
Tesco 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 of these each year.
The companys says that removing single use carrier bags will significantly reduce the number of bags sold and will therefore help reduce litter and 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 per cent 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.
The new Bag for Life will continue to fund Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, which is delivered with Groundwork, and sees local community projects, including several across Sussex, awarded grants, with Tesco customers voting 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. The scheme has until now been funded through the levy placed on single-use bags.
Matt Davies, UK and ROI CEO 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 per cent.
“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.”
Community groups and charities can apply for Bags of Help funding and Tesco customers can nominate projects they’d like to see receive some cash. Visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp to find out more.