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Tesco records 40% drop in carrier bag use

It offers incentives for those who recycle

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The number of disposable plastic bags handed out to Tesco shoppers over the last month is 40% lower than for the same period two years ago, the retailer said.

Customers have saved two billion carrier bags since August 2006, according to the grocery giant.

Tesco has refused to introduce a ‘bag tax’ for customers wanting to use single-use disposable bags, instead offering incentives for those who use recyclable bags through its in-store points card.

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Tesco’s corporate and legal affairs director, said: ‘We have helped our customers cut bag use by 40% without a bag tax adding to the cost of their weekly shop.

‘Our customers have shown us how keen they are to break this environmentally-damaging habit of a lifetime – the ‘carrot’ approach clearly works.

Single-use bags

‘It took more than 14 months to save the first billion bags but the second billion was achieved in less than nine months, showing that the trend is rapidly gaining support.’

The retailer said it had no plans to ban single-use bags.

Ms Neville-Rolfe added: ‘Even the most committed greenies occasionally forget to bring their shopping bags with them, so there will always be carrier bags available free of charge.

‘We want to help our customers remember to reuse their bags, rather than punish them when they forget.’

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