5p bag charge
January 9, 2016

Tesco see 80% drop from plastic bag charge in England

New data from Tesco shows there’s been around an 80% reduction in shoppers taking home carrier bags from their stores since the introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge in England.

Launching in October 2015, the English government gave the 5p carrier bag charge the go ahead in an effort to try and reduce the country’s usage of plastic bags, and minimise the damaging effect that their disposal can have on the environment. This came after the number of plastic bags given out by major supermarkets in England exceeded 7.6 billion in 2014 – that’s around 140 per person, and a total of 61,000 tonnes for our planet to deal with.

The supermarket chain haven’t specified the numbers of plastic bags that have been bought by customers, but simply stated that it was down by 78% compared to the month before the 5p charge started.

In addition, Tesco reported a 50% increase in the number of customers choosing ‘bagless’ online deliveries – another fantastic way of reducing plastic bag usage.

Tesco’s communications director, Rebecca Shelley, has said that the 5p plastic bag charge has ‘clearly had a huge impact’, and that the supermarket was on track to reach their target of £30 million raised by the sales of the carrier bags. These proceeds will be donated to charity.

England was the last country in the UK to introduce the charge, after it saw great success in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, carrier bags are only one way of helping retailers reduce their carbon emission – areas such as packaging, logistics and waste must also be considered to truly have a positive impact on our environment.

Speaking on this issue, Environment Minister Rory Stewart has said that “I’m really delighted that the 5p plastic bag charge is starting to have a real impact and is raising thousands for good causes.

“Cutting the number of plastic bags we use is a small but vital step in reducing plastic waste. It will not only tidy up our towns and countryside, it will also help protect our precious beaches and sea life.”

What should retailers do about the plastic bag charge?

At The Printed Bag Shop, we know that the rules and restrictions that the plastic bag charge caused can be confusing – but we’re clued up and want to help.

If you want to find out more about the plastic bag charge, head to our Bag Tax page – there you’ll find two free downloads that give you the key info you need to know.

If you’re looking for an alternative to plastic bags – we can help there too. We have a range of products you can replace your branded plastic bags with, including our bestselling laminated paper bags, twisted handle bags or even printed cotton bags. All can be fully customised with your branding, and we can talk you through which is the best option for you.

To talk to our lovely sales team, call 0191 268 7555, or email sales@theprintedbagshop.co.uk. 

(Quotes and info from these BBC and Guardian articles)

(Image from the Telegraph)