Lidl To Embrace Bags For Life Over 5p Charge
It’s been announced recently that food retailer Lidl is deciding to take a different approach to plastic carrier bags since the introduction of the levy in the UK – rather than charging customers 5p for single use carrier bags at the till, they have decided to scrap these altogether, and only offer a 9p alternative from their range of ‘bags for life‘.
The decision has been made in the hopes to make the store and their customers act in a more environmentally friendly way when doing their weekly shop, and is thought to be implemented from July 2017.
By offering reusable bags only, Lidl aims to “strongly discourage customers from a single-use, throw-away mind set”.
The low cost food chain has also said that “It will directly encourage shoppers to think about sustainability, and the role they can play in reducing unnecessary plastic waste.
“The levy introduced by the Government last year was an important start, and as a responsible retailer, we see it as our role to invest in a sustainable future and to bring our customers on that journey with us.”
As we reported in this blog, the usage of single use carrier bags since the introduction of the 5p charge has dropped massively, and if more stores move towards the model that Lidl is suggesting, that number could fall even more.
This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the environment and community causes that may benefit from the proceeds raised by the more expensive bags, but could it also mean customers are more out of pocket?
The hope is that although Lidl customers will have no choice but to pay more if they need a bag at the checkout, this won’t happen as often because we’ll be encouraged to take along the reusable ‘bags for life’ that we already own – but if you’re anything like us, you can’t help but forget them sometimes!
Also, according to this Telegraph article, Lidl have confirmed that they don’t have plans to donate any of the money made from the reusable bags to charity. This was never a rule, and was only suggested for the proceeds from single use bags, so Lidl are completely within their right to say this, but it does imply that their motives may include more than just helping the environment – they’re aiming to boost their profits too.
Good business sense, or taking advantage of legislation to pass on more cost to their customers? What do you think?
Whatever way you look at it, ‘bags for life’ are seeing a huge rise in popularity amongst retailers and customers, and reusing them effectively can help us reduce the impact that plastic bags have on our environment.
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