Tesco has revealed that over 1.5 billion single-use carrier bags have been saved by its customers in England since the introduction of the Government bag charge a year ago.
The figures represent a 72% fall in the use of single-use plastic bags being used in Tesco stores. Tesco customers shopping on tesco.com have also dramatically reduced the number of bags they use, with 57% of online shoppers selecting ‘bagless’ deliveries.
The Government’s 5p plastic bag charge was introduced in England on 5 October last year with the aim of cutting the number of plastic bags given out in shops and improving the environment.
Over the last year, the money raised by Tesco customers has been used to help fund 1,170 community projects as part of Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative.
George Gordon, UK & ROI Communications Director at Tesco said: “We’re encouraging our customers to use fewer single-use bags, so these figures are really encouraging.
“Also the money raised from our customers buying bags is making a big difference to local communities across the country.
“Thanks to Bags of Help, nearly £12m has been spent so far on local environmental improvement projects like parks, sports facilities, school playgrounds and community gardens – projects that have all been chosen by our customers.
“Going forward, we will help customers do even more for their communities by bringing together more projects for them to vote on every month.”
Earlier this month, Lidl pledged to stop selling single-use plastic carrier bags altogether across all its stores in England, Scotland and Wales from 1 July next year.