Tesco is to stop the sale of 5p carrier bags across the UK from the end of the month and instead offer 10p “Bags for Life”.
The move follows a 10-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, which the supermarket claims led to a 25% cut in bag sales as shoppers brought their own or opted for the Bags for Life – which will be replaced for free if damaged.
Since the introduction of the carrier bag charge in England in 2015, Tesco has given out 1.5 billion fewer bags but still sells more than 700 million every year.
The supermarket expects the removal of the single use carrier bags to “significantly reduce” the number of bags sold and sent to landfill.
Online customers will however still be able to opt for the single use carrier bags or a bagless delivery.
Sales of the more expensive Bags for Life will fund community projects, similar to other supermarkets’ charity donations following the introduction of the plastic bag charge.
Matt Davies, UK and ROI CEO 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 local communities.”
Environment Minister Theresa Coffey welcomed the move, adding the switch will continue to help reduce litter and boost recycling.