Waitrose to eliminate 40 million single-use plastic bags through price increase

·2-min read
There has been a 95 per cent drop in the use of plastic bags since the introduction of a 5p charge (Getty Images)
There has been a 95 per cent drop in the use of plastic bags since the introduction of a 5p charge (Getty Images)

Waitrose is set to pull all 10p bags for life from its major stores in a bid to eliminate 40 million single-use plastic bags per year.

The retailer has said that the 10p bags will be replaced with a 50p reusable bag made from recycled materials, which is also fully recyclable, and said to be twice as durable.

The move comes following “extensive research” by the supermarket chain which indicates that the 10p bags have increasingly become single use items.

The changes, which will also apply to all Waitrose deliveries and in-store collections, will take effect from 27 September and coincide with the reinstatement of their into-home deliveries.

James Bailey, executive director of Waitrose, said he would prefer people to only purchase their bags as a “last resort”, however.

He said: “We’ve long pledged to reduce single use plastics, so we have a clear obligation to remove our bags for life because they are no longer being reused as originally intended.

“While our new bag is more durable and fully recyclable, it is available as a last resort only and for customers with no other option. We do not want anyone to buy our new bags and instead would urge all our customers to bring ones they already have stocked away in cupboards at home as this is the best thing for the environment.”

In May, the charge for plastic bags doubled from 5p to 10p and was extended to all shops in England to reduce plastic waste.

By extending the charge to all retailers, it is hoped the use of single-use carrier bags will fall by 70-80 per cent in small and medium-sized businesses.

The change is expected to boost the UK economy by almost £300m over the next 10 years, according to the government.

Since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015, there has been a 95 per cent drop in plastic bag sales in major supermarkets.

Before the policy was introduced, the average household used around 140 single-use plastic carrier bags a year, but that number has now fallen to just four.

Read More

What is sepsis, what are the symptoms and can it be treated?

How to watch this year’s Met Gala live in the UK

Who is hosting this year’s Met Gala?

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting