Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has stepped up efforts to prove its green credentials by ditching its white carrier bags for orange versions which are a third recycled material.
The move follows Tesco’s announcement last month that it would award shoppers loyalty card points for every plastic bag they avoided using at stores.
Sainsbury’s says its scheme – which will see orange bags phased in from next month – will cut the amount of plastic used by around 6,500 tonnes each year.
Customers will be able to return their bags to Sainsbury’s stores and the recyclable element will be re-used for new bags.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said: ‘This is a major green step forward because recycling carrier bags, very much like lots of our packaging, means we’re again cutting down on the use of plastic as well as what goes to landfill.
‘Our ultimate aim is to further increase the amount that can be recycled in the bag so that we use even less plastic. We want to encourage all our customers to support our green revolution in food packaging and carrier bags by re-using and re-cycling.’
Earlier this month Sainsbury’s announced that all its own-brand ready meals, most of its organic produce and some organic meat products would be packed in compostable containers by late 2007.
It says the compostable packaging means a cut of 150 million plastic trays and bags. The new packaging will completely break down in a compost bin.