Tesco to scrap 5p plastic bags in favour of 10p bags for life

File photo dated 02/10/2007 of Tesco carrier bags in a shopping trolley. Photo credit: Ali Waggie/PA Wire
File photo dated 02/10/2007 of Tesco carrier bags in a shopping trolley. Photo credit: Ali Waggie/PA Wire

From the end of August single use plastic bags will no longer be available in Tesco stores in Northern Ireland.

Single use carrier bags – which had cost 5p – will be replaced by a new bag for life made from 94% recycled plastic and priced at 10p, which can be exchanged for free when damaged.

The new environmentally friendly scheme will begin on August 28.

The announcement follows a successful 10-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, where Tesco found that customers bought significantly fewer bags. Sales of bags in trial stores have since reduced by 25% and customers found that the Bag for Life, which is replaceable for free if damaged, helped them move to re-useable bags.

Tesco has seen an 83% reduction in bag use since Northern Ireland’s levy came into force. Removing single use carrier bags will significantly reduce the number of bags sold and will therefore help reduce litter and bags sent to landfill.

Online customers will still be able to opt for single use carrier bags for their shopping or select a bagless delivery, which 57% of Tesco’s online customers are now doing.

Tesco also revealed today that it will be removing single-use wine carriers and lowering the price of its ‘Carry me bottle bag’ from £1 to 40p.

Brendan Guidera, Store Director for Tesco in Northern Ireland: “Our customers have already been dramatically reducing their bag use in Northern Ireland. Today’s move will help this further and will really benefit the environment. As well as making bags for life more accessible for customers, we will be encouraging them to use and reuse bags for life as often as possible.”