Tesco announces it will end sale of 5p bags

Carla Harmon
August 8, 2017

Tesco is replacing its 5p single-use bags with a new "Bag for Life" priced at 10p on 28 August.

All of the supermarket giant's 3,500 United Kingdom stores will bin the 5p bags from August 28, in favour of new 10p bags.

Shoppers will instead be offered a bag for life, which are sold for 10p, in a bid to cut the amount of bags that shoppers use.

The BBC reports that the 5p charge was introduced in law at various times across the United Kingdom and has resulted in significant reductions in bag-purchasing, which led to Tesco's trial for a 5p plastic bag ban, which has seen success. The chain will recoup this cost from sales...

While paying 5p for the flimsy barely-there plastic bags can push up your weekly bill, Tesco have reported that it has given out 1.5 billion fewer single-use bags since 2015, but still sells over 700 million of the 5p bags every year.

The Bag for Life profits will go to Tesco's Bags of Help scheme partnered with Groundwork, which has already provided more than £33 million to over 6,400 local community projects since it was established in 2015.

Online shoppers can still opt for the 5p carriers, but Tesco said that more than half of those who get their groceries brought to their doors opt of bagless delivery.

"We welcome this move by Tesco to try and reduce bag usage further, and are encouraged that Tesco's brief trial appears to suggest that a significant reduction will be achieved".

The new rules are coming into place following successful 10-week trials in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich and are rolling out nationwide at the end of the month.

Commenting on the retailer's announcement, Resources Minister Thérèse Coffey, said: "I welcome Tesco wanting to go further and help their customers use even fewer plastic bags".

"For too long we've seen plastic as something to be used once and thrown away", senior campaigner Louise Edge said.

Matt Davies, CEO at Tesco says: "It's the right thing to do for the environment and for the local communities".

"Plastic bag use has already been drastically reduced because the 5p charge has been enough to make most people do not forget to bring their own bags".

Tesco have trialled selling only Bags for Life in four stores in the United Kingdom and found that sales of plastic bags dropped by 25%.

Community groups and charities can apply for Bags of Help funding and Tesco customers can nominate projects they would wish to see receive financial help; enabling them to become more involved in societal wellbeing.

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