Tesco is replacing its 5p single-use bags with a new ‘Bag for Life’ priced at 10p on 28 August.
Sales of the new bag, made from 94% recycled plastic will help fund community projects across the UK. These bags will be exchanged free of charge if damaged.
The announcement follows a successful 10-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, where Tesco found that customers bought significantly fewer bags.
The existing 5p single-use bags have experienced a decline in sales by 83%; Tesco has subsequently given out 1.5 billion fewer single-use bags. However, it still sells more than 700 million single use bags each year.
Tesco’s online customers will still have the choice to select single-use carrier bags or bagless delivery, which 57% of its customers are doing. Tesco will also be removing single-use wine carriers and lowering the price of its ‘Carry me bottle bag’ from £1 to 40p.
‘It’s the right thing to do for the environment’
The supermarket says ending the sale of 5p bags in stores will have environmental benefits: helping to curb the number of bags deposited to landfill sites, a reduction in generated litter as well as encouraging recycling.
Matt Davies, CEO at Tesco says: “It’s the right thing to do for the environment and for the local communities.” He says that sales of the bag will “fund thousands of community projects across the country chosen by customers”.
On 5 October 2016, large retailers in England had to start charging for plastic bags as part of government plans to reduce waste. However, there are some exceptions to the rules. For more on this read Plastic Bag charges explained.
Environment minister, Therese Coffey, says she welcomes “Tesco wanting to go further…helping to leave the environment in a better state.”
The new ‘Bag for Life’ will continue to fund Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme which has provided more than £3 million to over 6,400 community projects, ranging from providing young people with more coaching facilities to developing a therapeutic garden for patients with chronic illnesses.
Community groups and charities can apply for Bags of Help funding and Tesco customers can nominate projects they would wish to see receive financial help; enabling them to become more involved in societal wellbeing.