Supermarkets Agree To Cut Plastic Bag Use In Half

Supermarket groups have agreed to cut the number of plastic bags they hand out by half by next Spring.
Seven of the UK’s major chains, including Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Waitrose, are part of the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) agreement with the government.
The agreement to reduce the volume of carrier bags provided to customers by 50 per cent against 2006 levels, covers stores in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Supermarkets will offer customers extra loyalty points for bringing their own bags to stores, while some will charge for the use of plastic bags.
The Department for the Environment said the number of bags saved as part of the initiative could fill 60 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or fill the Royal Albert Hall one and a half times.
Environment minister Jane Kennedy said: “This is a bold commitment which will result in around five billion fewer bags being handed out.”
“Supermarkets have already taken some imaginative steps to help us use fewer carrier bags and other high street retailers should look to them for inspiration.
“Of course, we can all play our part to reduce the number of carrier bags on our high streets and the government will work closely with the BRC on a campaign to help us all to do so.”
Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, commented: “Together with other environmental initiatives, supermarkets are meeting their existing commitment to reduce the environmental impact of bags by 25 per cent.
“They’re now volunteering an ambitious new target to help customers halve bag use by next spring. Supermarkets have been so successful in this by taking customers with them in ways they find acceptable, by encouraging and rewarding.
“This new partnership with the Government, underpinned by action across the retail sector, offers exciting new opportunities to help our customers across the UK to do the right thing. It’s one more step towards reducing waste and environmental impact.”

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