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25 Jul 2019

Tesco and Iceland's crackdown on supermarket plastic bags

We reveal the best supermarkets for tackling plastic bags

Today Tesco announced that it will stop providing plastic bags to shoppers buying groceries online from 19 August.

Tesco claims this will cut 2,000 tonnes' worth of the single-use plastic bags it currently uses in a year.

Some items such as fish, meat and some loose fruit will still be delivered by Tesco.com in small plastic bags for hygiene reasons. Tesco says that delivery drivers will be happy to take these back so the bags can be recycled.

Which supermarket is best for online groceries? Read our guide to supermarkets.

Iceland trials total ban on plastic bags

Iceland also hit headlines by announcing a trial of a plastic-bag-free supermarket in Hackney, London. This comes just days after Iceland revealed the failure of its plastic-free supermarket in Liverpool.

Shoppers will be offered extra-strong paper bags for 15p instead of plastic bags for life. This follows concerns that more plastic is used to create the sturdier bag for life bags.

Supermarkets that deliver without plastic bags

Tesco and Iceland aren't the only supermarkets cutting down on plastic bags. Online customers of Asda and Sainsbury's can choose not to have their groceries delivered in plastic bags.

In-store shoppers can also choose to shop without plastic in most of the supermarkets. Morrisons sells extra strong paper bags instead of plastic, while Co-op sells compostable bags in some stores that can be used in food bins or compost plots - much like our potato starch magazine wrapper.

See our table below to find out how your supermarket compares:

What supermarkets are doing about plastic bags

Find out how the supermarkets are making a difference on plastic packaging with ourguide to supermarket plastics.

How to recycle single-use plastic bags

We can't always avoid single-use plastic bags but the good news is that you can recycle them.

While only a few councils will collect them with your kerbside recycling, you can take them to collection points in supermarkets or recycling points (like the ones you find in car parks).

Find your nearest collection point at recyclenow.com

Some supermarket delivery drivers will take the plastic bags back from you. Ocado drivers will also take plastic bags from other retailers.

Find out how you can recycle better with our recycling advice.