Tesco to stop sales of 5p carrier bags

Shopper leaving Tesco store

Tesco will stop selling its 5p single-use plastic carrier bags, offering instead a new Bag For Life for 10p.

The new bag, made from 94 per cent recycled plastic and designed to last longer than the standard 5p bag, has been trialled in supermarkets where sales of bags dropped by 25 per cent.

Tesco will also remove single-use wine carriers and cut the price of its Carry Me Bottle Bag from £1 to 40p.

Since the carrier bag charge was imposed in England nearly two years ago Tesco has distributed 1.5 billion fewer single-use bags. However, it still sells over 700 million each year, which poses a problem in terms of litter and plastic heading to landfill.

The 5p bags will vanish from stores on August 28th but online shoppers will still be offered them – although Tesco says 57 per cent of its web shoppers are already choosing bagless deliveries.

Sales of the bag will fund Tesco's Bags of Help programme, which provides grants of up to £4,000 to local community projects. Over £33 million has gone to more than 6,400 projects so far.

"The number of bags being bought by our customers has already reduced dramatically," says Matt Davies, UK and ROI CEO at Tesco. "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."