If you’re anything like us, the 5p bag charge, introduced back in 2015, has meant way more dashed trips back inside to pick up the bag for life you’d forgotten to bring. But the reign of the 5p plastic bag in supermarkets could soon be over. How?
Supermarket giant Tesco have recently announced plans to scrap their plastic bags entirely, and leave shoppers who forget their own bags from home with just one option – to purchase a more expensive ‘bag for life’.
The supermarket is planning to phase their plastic bags out completely, meaning customers will instead have to pay around 10p for a bag for life, should they need one.
The move comes just two years after the government introduced the bag charge for the thin, single-use brand plastic bags, in a bid to reduce discourage shoppers from using them to reduce the massive amounts of waste, and the fact that billions of them were ending up in oceans and harming wildlife.
And it’s an initiative that has definitely worked. Figures were announced last year stating that there were around six billion fewer plastic bags in use by shoppers than before the ban was announced.
Tesco will trial their new plastic bag initiative in Aberdeen, Norwich and Dundee, in order to see how customers get on without the single-use option.
A Tesco spokesperson said, “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. In these stores customers who need a bag can still buy a bag for life which they can reuse.”
So will other supermarkets follow suit? According to The Telegraph, if successful in the trial, the supermarket will roll out the initiative nationwide, and after that, it’s expected that other major supermarkets will follow in Tesco’s supermarkets and leave bags for life as shoppers only option.
Since the plastic bag charge came in, most supermarkets have been donating the profits to charities, and Tesco has maintained that they will continue to do this if they eventually sell only bags for life.