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5p carrier bags will soon be a thing of the past at Tesco- 7th August

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Tesco has become the first supermarket chain to completely get rid of the 5p plastic carrier bag and will instead offer the 10p ‘bag for life’ as an alternative in a bid to reduce the amount of plastic being produced. The bag for life is made out of recycled plastic and is 94% stronger than a single use bag. The bag for life will also be swapped for a new one when it becomes damaged, at no cost.

Tested with proven success, Tesco found that after a 10 week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, there was a 25% reduction in bag sales with shoppers opting to bring their own or buy a bag for life.

Since the 5p bag charge was introduced in 2015, Tesco has sold 1.5 billion bags less than it used to, however figures still show that over 700 million are still being sold each year. The new policy is aimed at reducing the amount of plastic bags being sent to landfill each year.

The money used to pay for a bag for life, will continue to fund community projects, just as the 5p bags have done since the bag charge was first introduced. Tesco have paid out £33 million so far as a result.

The bag charge was introduced in an attempt to reduce the amount of plastic bags which go to landfill each year, to reduce litter and to protect ecosystems. Figures show that about 8 million tonnes of plastic makes its way to the world’s oceans every year. Consequently this is putting marine creatures and sea birds in danger, as they can either get caught up in it or digest it.

The attempt has clearly been successful with statistics revealing that the number of single use carrier bags had plummeted by 85%. Whilst previously over 7 billion bags were handed out each year to consumers, that figure then dropped to just over 500 million a year.

The bag charge has clearly been a success at reducing the amount of waste plastic, however Tesco hopes that no more 5p carrier bags will do even more to protect the environment.

To find out more, click here.

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