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Online food stores under fire for plastic bags

The Grocer survey finds stores using more bags

Sainsbury's logo

Sainsbury’s beats the rest of the ‘big four’ for overall satisfaction

Some online retailers still use too many plastic carrier bags to deliver goods ordered over the internet, a new report suggests.

Researchers who ordered 33 everyday groceries from five major retailers had them delivered in a total of 54 bags.

Tesco used just six carriers – the smallest number of all the food chains surveyed for The Grocer.


Sainsbury’s was the worst offender using 18 carriers for its delivery, the trade magazine found.

Waitrose used eight bags, Ocado used ten and Asda used 12 to deliver the groceries.

Asda was rated the best online delivery service by The Grocer based on research carried out earlier this month.

It was the only retailer able to deliver all 33 of the ordered items, although two of these were substitutions for items it did not stock.


Tesco delivered 29 out of 33 ordered items because three products were not available to order and one was out of stock.

Waitrose and Ocado both delivered 30 of the 33 products while Sainsbury’s delivered 32 items.

‘Sadly only Asda used fewer plastic delivery bags than it did in the previous survey, but its total of 12 was double Tesco’s total,’ The Grocer said.

Total up from last year

The total number of bags used across all five retailers was 54 compared to 41 used when the magazine did a similar survey in September.

Sainsbury’s used 18 bags compared to 11 bags for its September delivery.

‘But none of the retailers covered themselves in glory on this count as a whopping 54 bags were used in total by the five online retailers, up from 41 in September,’ The Grocer said.


Goods were ordered from the five retailers on January 2 and delivered on either January 3, 4 or 5.

Sainsbury’s said in a statement: ‘We are extremely disappointed that our policy of packing groceries in as few bags as possible was not followed.

‘We take this issue very seriously and we are investigating with the store involved to understand what went wrong and to provide colleagues with additional training.

‘We are fully committed to reducing the number of plastic carrier bags we use and our delivery drivers are trained to take used bags back to the store to be reused and recycled.’

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