Asda and Morrisons have both announced plans to phase out single-use carrier bags in an effort to cut down on plastic waste. They aren’t the only supermarkets to scrap the 5p bags, though. Here are the retailers who are leading the way when it comes to reducing the amount of plastic they churn out, and the ones who are languishing behind.
Ahead of the game Sainsbury’s
Sainsbury’s removed single-use carrier bags from its stores when the 5p levy was introduced back in 2015.
The UK’s biggest supermarket chain stopped selling 5p single-use plastic bags in August 2017.
Lidl also removed all single-use carrier bags from sale last year.
The frozen foods chain still sells single-use carrier bags but last month announced it would phase out all plastic packaging in its own brand products by 2023. The pledge will involve getting rid of plastic bags.
A spokesman for Iceland said the company was “actively looking at alternatives” to single-use plastic carrier bags.
Greenpeace has singled the supermarket out for its commitment to banishing plastic, saying: “Iceland is blazing a trail others should follow.”
Going green Asda
Asda’s CEO Roger Burnley announced earlier this week that the company would phase out single-use carrier bags by the end of 2018, in favour of Bags for Life.
Hot on Asda’s heels, Morrisons revealed it was “listening to customers” and had decided it was the right time to pull the bags. The company will begin phasing them out in March. On the fence Aldi The budget supermarket continues to sell single-use carrier bags in store.
But an Aldi spokeswoman said: “We are reviewing all own-label plastic packaging to assess where further reductions can be made.”
Co-Op has indicated it may follow other supermarkets’ lead in phasing the bags out but has not made any firm commitments.
“As a convenience retailer we are considering our approach,” a Co-Op spokeswoman said. “All the money we make from the 5p bags goes into our Local Community Fund to be distributed amongst local causes that are chosen by our members as part of our membership scheme,” she added.
The high-end Northern chain confirmed it was taking “practical, proactive steps to remove single-use plastic bags” and “dramatically” reduce plastic waste within the business. Bottom of the bag Waitrose The upmarket grocer still sells 5p plastic bags across its stores and declined to say whether it was considering phasing them out.
It said in a statement: “Waitrose’s carrier bag levy proceeds are helping to fund beach and river cleans across England over the next year, organised by the Marine Conservation Society.”
M&S also still offers customers the option of buying a single-use bag for 5p, alongside its 10p Bags for Life.
A spokeswoman said that since the company introduced the 5p carrier bag charge in 2008, it had usage of the carriers by around 90 per cent, with a reduction of around 500 million bags a year. She added: “The net proceeds have resulted in £4.6m raised for a number of national and local charities last year.”