LONDON, 2015-9-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — On 5th October, legislation will come into force in England introducing a levy on single-use plastic bags for all large retailers, including Sainsbury’s. Of course this has been happening for some time in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, so many of our customers are already familiar with how this works.
The government was very clear when it proposed this legislation that its primary objective was to protect the environment and reduce the number of bags we all use. At Sainsbury’s we thought about how we could best support these aims and we therefore decided to create a thicker reusable bag which we will sell for 5p and replace it when it wears out. The current, free, single-use bags will be removed from our English stores altogether. Having already done this in Scotland and Wales, we know it radically reduces bag use and we believe this is the most effective way for us to help our customers use fewer bags. Our bags will be better for the environment too – they will be made from 100% recycled materials and will be reusable, and then recyclable again once they have worn out. For our customers that shop online, we are introducing a ‘bagless’ option, which gives them the choice to opt out of using bags all together or be charged a flat rate of 40p for single-use plastic carrier bags.
Although the introduction of our thicker reusable bag will not be subject to the levy, we will still donate all profits from these bags to good causes, this is alongside the levy charged for the single-use carrier bags distributed through online orders. This will be in addition to what we already raise for charity, which last year was £52 million.
We think this is the best way to do the right thing for the environment, whilst still supporting good causes.
Roger Burnley, Director of Retail and Operations