Tesco will replace all its 5p single use plastic bags with its new Bag for Life made from recycled plastic, with sales of the new bag continuing to fund community projects across Britain.
From 28 August, shoppers will have to pay 10p for the new Bag for Life which is made from 94 per cent recycled plastic. Tesco estimates that an average of £24m a year will still be raised for good causes from the plastic bags.
The new bag will fund Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, which is delivered with environment charity Groundwork. It sees local community projects across Great Britain awarded grants, with Tesco customers able to vote for their favourite local project by picking up a blue token at the checkout when they shop.
Since it launched in 2015, Bags for Help has provided more than £33m to over 6,400 local community projects. Until now, the scheme has been funded through the plastic bag levy which was introduced in 2015 and required retailers with more than 250 employees will have to charge 5p for all single-use carrier bags to encourage people to reuse bags and reduce the amount of waste generated by discarded carrier bags.
The change follows the plastic bag levy which was introduced in 2015. Retailers with more than 250 employees will have to charge 5p for all single-use carrier bags to encourage people to reuse bags and reduce the amount of waste generated by discarded carrier bags.
Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s chief executive, said: “Since it launched in 2015 Bags of Help has had an incredible impact on the environment – through the reduction of carrier bags used in Tesco stores and by providing funding for community groups to develop local projects that benefit the people and the places where they live.
“This step will see those environmental benefits increase, and we’re delighted that communities will continue to be able to access Bags of Help funding.”
Matt Davies, UK and ROI chief executive at Tesco, said: “The number of bags being bought by our customers has already reduced dramatically. Today’s move will help our customers use even fewer bags but ensure that those sold in our stores continue to fund thousands of community projects across the country chosen by customers. It’s the right thing to do for the environment and for local communities.”
Tesco’s announcement follows a 10-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich where Tesco found that customers bought significantly fewer bags. It said that sales of bags in trial stores have since reduced by 25 per cent and customers found that the Bag for Life, which is replaceable for free if damaged, helped them move to re-useable bags.
Competitor Sainsbury’s already uses a similar model. It charges 5p for a reusable bag, some of which goes towards replacing the reusable bags and the rest is voluntarily given to charity.