Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket, will stop selling 5p pastic bags in its 6,553 stores across the country in just three weeks’ time.
That means around 700m single-use pastic bags annually will no longer be used, most of which end up in landfills.
Tesco sells more than any other major UK supermarket each year.
Following a 10-week trial which led to a 25 percent reduction in single use carrier bag sales, the grocer will only offer shoppers 10p so-called bags for life made from 94 percent recycled plastic.
The bag for life is replaceable for free if damaged, but forgetful shoppers will have to pay for a new one if they leave it at home.
Tesco’s online shoppers will still be able to opt for single use carrier bags for their shopping, but 57 percent of the supermarket’s online customers already choose a bagless delivery.
The sales of bags for life will continue to fund Tesco’s charitable work, which has already provided more than £33m to over 6,400 local community projects.
Matt Davies, UK and Irish Republic chief executive at Tesco, said:
The number of bags being bought by our customers has already reduced dramatically. [This] move will help our customers use even fewer bags but ensure that those sold in our stores continue to fund thousands of community projects across the country chosen by customers.
When were customers first charged for plastic, single use carrier bags?
Charges for plastic bags were introduced in the UK in October 2015.
In 2011, Wales started charging 5p per bag, resulting in a 71 percent drop in the number used by customers.
Northern Ireland introduced charges in 2013, followed by Scotland a year later.
England, the last country in the UK to introduce the carrier bag charge, saw an 83 percent drop in use.