Tesco has announced that it will begin a trial to phase out 5p single-use carrier bags, meaning shoppers who don’t take their own to its stores will only have the option of buying bags for life.
The 10-week trial will take place in its Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich stores and, if successful, could see the retail giant axe single-use bags.
The 5p charge for single-use plastic carrier bags came into effect in October 2015 in England. 7bn single-use carrier bags were given to customers by seven retailers in 2014.
Figures released last year show an 85% drop in the number of single-use bags used by shoppers since the charge was introduced.
“We are carrying out a short trial in a few stores to look at the impact on bag usage if we remove single use carrier bags,” a Tesco spokesperson said. “In these stores customers who need a bag can still buy a Bag for Life which they can reuse.”
The supermarket said that online customers will still have the option of buying 5p carriers to have their shopping delivered in – but 57% now choose bagless deliveries.
Retailers are expected to donate the 5p charge for single-use carrier to environmental causes.
According to ITV News, Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, which supports local groups as chosen by customers, will continue using profits from bags for life.
Bags of Help is Tesco’s local grant scheme, where the money raised from the government’s 5p bag levy is being used to fund a large number of local projects to create or improve outdoor spaces in communities right across England, Scotland and Wales. These range from new parks and sports facilities, to school playgrounds and community gardens.