Tesco, the UK supermarket giant, has announced that the use of disposable plastic bags is in steep decline as shoppers in their thousands switch to permanent shopping bags.
Tesco customers have saved a staggering two billion carrier bags since Green Clubcard Points were launched in August 2006. Carrier bag use by Tesco shoppers in the last month is 40% lower than for the same period two years ago.
Throughout the month of July in 2006, Tesco gave its customers approximately 350 million single-use carrier bags. In July 2008, that had dropped to just 200 million.
Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Corporate and Legal Affairs Director said, “We have helped our customers cut bag use by 40% without a bag tax adding to the cost of their weekly shop. In fact, our Green Clubcard scheme helps people save on their grocery shopping bills.
“Our customers have shown us how keen they are to break this environmentally-damaging habit of a lifetime - the “carrot” approach clearly works.
“It took more than 14 months to save the first billion bags but the second billion was achieved in less than 9 months, showing that the trend is rapidly gaining support.
“Even the most committed greenies occasionally forget to bring their shopping bags with them, so there will always be carrier bags available free of charge. We want to help our customers remember to reuse their bags, rather than punish them when they forget.”
Tesco Green Clubcard Points are awarded to customers for every bag they do not use. Using a large shopping bag could therefore result in a reward of 2 or 3 points.
The supermarket has already sent its 12 million Clubcard customers a new key fob which carries a reminder to bring their bags with them. There will also be ‘reminder banners’ in store car parks..
Tesco has also introduced a range of affordable and attractive reusable bags to make it more appealing for customers to make the switch. Tesco brought in Cath Kidston - one of Britain’s best-loved designers - to extend its range with bags made from recycled plastic bottles. Tesco originally commissioned six bag designs from Cath Kidston but, due to their huge popularity, has now extended that to eight, including a special design for Christmas.
The Tesco Charity of the Year, Marie Curie Cancer Care, receives a 50 pence donation for every bag sold. A new vintage-inspired bag design hits Tesco stores this week.
Tesco plc, a UK-based international grocery and merchandising retailer, is Britain's largest supplier and the world's third largest grocery retailer, by both global sales and domestic market share.
Founded as a food specialist in 1929, Tesco has now expanded into diverse areas such as music downloads, wine, furniture, laptops, telecoms and even dishwashers. The company employs over 250,000 people, operates 1,779 stores across Europe and Asia and serves over 15 million customers.
Tesco Corporate & Legal Affairs
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