Tesco bid to cut plastic bagsSupermarket will reward shoppers who re-use bags

04 August 2006

Supermarket giant Tesco says it wants to cut the 4 billion plastic bags it dishes out annually by a quarter within two years.

It will award its 13 million Clubcard holders one point for every bag they don't take from stores.

Points will be awarded to shoppers who re-use old plastic bags or bring other bags into store and check-out staff will use their discretion in deciding how many Clubcard points to give out.

Tesco Chief Executive Sir Terry Leahy said: 'The results of our research tell us that we have to move the emphasis away from trying to force change and on to rewarding positive behaviour. In other words a more carrot than stick approach.'

'Greenwash'

By the end of next month, all Tesco carrier bags will be degradable. The chain has brought in bigger, thicker bags in some stores in a bid to encourage people to use fewer bags.

But Friends of the Earth supermarket campaigner Sandra Bell was unimpressed: 'This is typical of the greenwash that Tesco has been churning out over recent months. Even if it meets its target to reduce the number of bags being used, Tesco will still be handing out three billion plastic bags a year.'