Plastic bag use at Tesco stores decreased by 78% since the introduction of the Government’s 5p plastic bag charge

CHESHUNT, England, 2015-12-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — The number of single-use bags used by customers at Tesco stores in England has been slashed by an incredible 78% in a month since the introduction of the Government’s 5p plastic bag charge, according to figures released by Tesco.

Customers shopping on have also dramatically reduced the number of bags they use, with the number of online shoppers selecting ‘bagless’ deliveries increasing by nearly 50%.

The bag charge was introduced by the Government in October this year with the aim of cutting the number of plastic bags taken from shops and improving the environment. The drop in bag use by Tesco customers in store is almost 10% higher than Tesco predicted before the bag levy was introduced.

Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco said:

“We knew the Government’s bag charge would encourage our customers to use fewer plastic bags and it’s clearly had a huge impact.

“We wanted to do as much as we could to help our customers avoid paying the charge – the week before the charge was introduced we gave out free bags for life, and we’ve been sharing helpful hints and tips on how customers can cut down the number of bags they use.

“We’re also working with our customers to make sure the millions of pounds that will be raised from the bag charge go towards making a real difference for our local communities.”

Over the past six weeks, Tesco has been calling out to charities and local community groups to apply for grants from the carrier bag charge to fund projects which will make lasting improvements to green spaces in communities across the UK. The retailer has just extended the deadline for applications to 11th December, to give charities and individuals more time to submit their applications. The eligibility criteria for the scheme has also been expanded to include projects on school grounds, community spaces on housing estates or residential areas, including gated areas, spaces in the grounds of hospices and day centres and allotments.

The size of the grants available range from £8,000 to £12,000, and Tesco is working with environmental charity Groundwork to administer the scheme.

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said:

“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.”

Tesco sees protecting the environment as an essential as part of being a responsible business. The retailer has set an ambition to be a zero carbon business by 2050, and has led the industry in its work to reduce food waste.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645
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Source: Tesco PLC

Tesco: one million UK children have now been involved in the Eat Happy Project

CHESHUNT, England, 2015-11-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tesco has today announced that one million UK children have now been involved in the Eat Happy Project, the retailer’s long-term commitment to help children gain the knowledge and skills they need to have a happy, healthy relationship with food.

The milestone comes just 18 months into the project, which was developed in response to new research that found 80% of children today were less healthy than their parents.

The Eat Happy Project was launched in March 2014 alongside an in-depth study highlighting a growing concern among British parents about their children’s relationship with their food. The study, undertaken by global consumer trends experts Future Foundation, also revealed that even though 90 per cent of children said they know which foods are healthy, fewer than ten per cent achieve their five-a-day target.

More than half (52 per cent) believed potatoes count towards the total, and one in ten (10 per cent) counted carrot cake.
The study also found that two-thirds of parents believe children eat much more convenience food than they did as a child, and half said they feared the impact of their children’s diet on long-term health.

The Tesco Eat Happy Project takes education out of the classroom and actively shows children where their food comes from.

Schoolchildren aged 4-11 have visited suppliers at their farms or factories and gone on in-store Farm to Fork trails at 787 Tesco stores UK-wide where specially trained colleagues provide practical demonstrations helping children explore fresh fruit and vegetables, taste cheeses, see how bread is baked and learn about the different species and origins of fish.

More than 18,000 pupils have also been transported around the world virtually using Google+ Hangouts for Online Field Trips, where they have talked to worldwide suppliers from banana growers in Costa Rica, to pasta makers in Naples.

The Tesco Eat Happy Project, however, does not just engage with children through schools. In January, a new partnership was launched with the Scout Association and since then almost 18,000 Cubs and Beavers have earned their Farm to Fork badge on the trails.

During school holidays, the Project invites parents to bring their children to free Let’s Cook classes in its stores in partnership with the Children’s Food Trust. To date these classes, teaching recipes from spaghetti Bolognese to veggie kebabs, have been held in 95 stores, with more than 7,000 children taking part. More than 10,000 children will also get the chance to learn to cook in after-school clubs set up through the partnership this term.

Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco said:
“Our plans for The Tesco Eat Happy Project were always ambitious – through engaging one by one with a million children we have shown that we can play our small part in helping children have a more healthy relationship with food. We want to do everything we can to serve our customers a little better every day, and this is an important part of that.”

The Tesco Eat Happy Project has now set its sights on new goals, aiming to provide the next million children with an Eat Happy Experience within twelve months as well as increasingly engaging with parents for activities that can be undertaken in the home.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645
We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.


Tesco anticipates plastic carrier bag use in England to drop by nearly 70% as a result of the 5p carrier bag charge

CHESHUNT, England, 2015-9-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — From October 5th, customers at all large UK shops will be charged 5p for each single-use carrier bag they use during their shopping trip as part of a new Government scheme.

Based on statistics from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – where a bag charge already exists – Tesco anticipates plastic carrier bag use in England to drop by nearly 70% as a result.

To help customers reduce their bag use and become accustomed to using Bags for Life, in England Tesco will offer a limited number of free Bags for Life at the till during the week before the charge comes into force. Tesco will also share a variety of top tips on how customers can cut down the number of bags used during each shopping trip.

Tips include the importance of making sure you have a bag stashed in your car boot, as well as techniques for folding bags extra small so they can fit in a purse or handbag.

Tesco has also revamped the design of its single-use carrier bags, to coincide with the introduction of the bag charge. The new bags are made of recycled plastic and are much stronger and sturdier. This means fewer will be needed for each shopping trip, which will help customers save money as well as the environment. The new bags will be manufactured using a ‘Closed Loop’ system, which means they will be made from plastic recycled from Tesco stores. Tesco customers will be able to recycle their used bags in store.

The bag charge in Scotland and Wales has so far help raise over £5 million for the RSPB, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy. The bag charge in England is also expected to raise millions, and it is expected to be the biggest ever single source of funding for community projects generated by Tesco customers.

Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco said:

“It’s incredibly important we do our bit for the environment and we’re really proud of the work we’ve done in this area, particularly in reducing waste.

“We want to do everything we can to help our customers minimise the impact of the charge as well as their impact on the environment, by helping them recycle and re-use their bags.

“We’re also going to work together with our customers to make sure the millions that will be raised from the bag charge goes towards making a real difference for our local communities.”

Tesco sees protecting the environment as an essential as part of being a responsible business. The retailer has set an ambitious target to be a zero carbon business by 2050, and has led the industry in its work to reduce food waste.

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said:

“Using fewer plastic bags will have a huge impact on our natural and marine environment and will help clean up our high streets, but if people do need to take a new plastic bag from a shop, they should feel confident that their money is going to a good cause – done properly this new initiative will be of huge benefit to our environment, and to society.

“Tesco’s programme will give shoppers a say in where their money goes and means all proceeds will be reinvested in local communities. We’d love to encourage other retailers to come forward with innovative schemes that support communities or the environment.”

The money raised from the 5p bag charge in England will be used to pay for a large number of local environmental improvement projects in communities right across the UK. The kinds of projects that will get the green light as a result of the funding will include building new pocket parks, sports facilities, woodland walks and community gardens.

Tesco customers will get the chance to vote in store and online for the projects they most want to go ahead in their own local areas. Six projects will receive funding in each of 432 regions annually, which means that around 2,500 different projects are expected to receive funding from the bag charge after just one year. The amount of funding available for individual local projects will range from £8,000 to £12,000.

Tesco is calling on customers to nominate local good causes they would like to see benefit from the money. Nominations will be whittled down to three good causes that customers can choose from to vote for in each area. Administration of the local funding will be handled by environmental improvement charity Groundwork, which specialises in supporting communities to transform local green spaces for the better.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork UK chief executive, said:

“The bag charge is all about making sure we do what we can to create a better environment.  Using the proceeds of the charge to help people improve parks and green spaces on their doorstep doubles the benefit.  There are so many benefits to be gained from making sure people have well designed, well managed green space near to where they live.

“People are healthier because they can exercise in the fresh air, grow their own food or just get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Communities are stronger because people get to know their neighbours and families have more places to have fun together.  Local green spaces can also help tackle bigger issues – increasing biodiversity and reducing the impacts of climate change.  We’re delighted to be working alongside Tesco stores and customers to bring these benefits to thousands of communities across the UK.”

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645

We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.

Tesco customers donated more than 3.6 million meals during the sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection this summer

  • Over 3.6 million meals donated during recent Neighbourhood Food Collection in partnership with FareShare and The Trussell Trust
  • Significant rise in number of donations from in-store permanent collection points from January to July 2015
  • More than 27.5 million meals have been provided to people in need since Neighbourhood Food Collection began

CHESHUNT, England, 2015-7-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tesco customers have donated an incredible 3.6 million meals during the sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection this summer. The figure is an increase of 13% compared to last summer’s collection.

The food will be redistributed to people in need via charity partners FareShare and The Trussell Trust, with Tesco adding an extra 30% to all customer donations.

There has also been a significant increase in the amount of food customers are donating day in day out at in-store permanent collection points. Over 2.1 million meals worth of food were donated at permanent collection points in 507 Tesco stores in the first six months of 2015, almost as much as the whole of 2014 combined.

The total of meals donated to people in need since The Neighbourhood Food Collection began in December 2012 is now at 27.5 million. This includes food donated at in-store permanent collection points, local collections, Tesco’s 30% top-up, plus surplus food from Tesco’s dotcom distribution centres. The total figure for 2015 alone is over 6 million.

During the collection, customers were asked to donate non-perishable food items such as long-life milk, cereals and tinned fruit and vegetables. Volunteers from The Trussell Trust, FareShare, BT and the British Red Cross joined Tesco colleagues in store to collect donations from generous customers.

The food collected will benefit people living in food poverty, many of whom are parents struggling with food costs due to lack of free school meals over the long summer holiday. Over 800,000 families have to pay for childcare costs, with this averaging out at £64 a week.  More than a quarter of families also rely on the help of grandparents or other extended family just to ensure that their children have sufficient food during the holidays. *

Food poverty continues to be a serious issue across the UK as figures published by The Trussell Trust this winter showed the number of people helped by foodbanks in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year is 38% higher than numbers helped during the same period last year.

Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco, said: “The response from our customers, colleagues and volunteers has been incredible and it’s thanks to them that our sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection has gone so well. It’s inspiring that our customers are so generous and give so much to help people in food poverty.”

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “Yet again we have been blown away by everyone’s generosity. We are very grateful to Tesco and their colleagues for hosting the event, our amazing volunteers and partner organisations across the country who selflessly gave up their time to help collect food donations to the great British public who responded so generously to the call for action.  The food will now be redistributed to over 1,923 charities and community projects supported by FareShare, including play schemes supporting children and families over the holidays. The donations from this Neighbourhood Food Collection will make a huge difference to these organisations’ ability to not only serve nutritious meals for people in need but also to provide additional support to help people back on their feet. Thank you!”

David McAuley, Trussell Trust Chief Executive, said: “We are truly grateful for the amazing effort by Tesco store staff, customers, volunteers and foodbanks in this year’s summer Neighbourhood Food Collection. The donations will make a huge difference to foodbanks’ ability to not only provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food to people in need but also additional support to tackle the root causes of poverty. It is timely given the additional pressure on families of providing lunch time meals and child care during the summer school holiday months.

“I would like to say a special thank you to everyone at Tesco who help make this event such a success. Since the Neighbourhood Food Collection inception in the summer of 2012 Tesco customers have donated over 27 million meals to help feed people in crisis.”


*Statistics from ‘Family Spending, 2014 Edition’ from ONS

For media enquiries on the Trussell Trust and information on case studies, please contact Andy May or Emma Thorogood on or or call 020 3137 3699.

For media enquiries on FareShare and information on case studies, please contact Susie Haywood call 020 7394 2460.

Notes to editors

About the Neighbourhood Food Collection:

  • Tesco works with its food collection partners, foodbank charity the Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare, to launch the Neighbourhood Food Collection.
  •  From 2-4 July 2015 Tesco customers were encouraged to donate at Tesco food collection points.
  • Collections began in Express stores on 22 June.
  • The donations to the Neighbourhood Food Collection go to either FareShare or The Trussell Trust – benefitting families and individuals across the UK.
  • Tesco provides 30% top up to the charities based on the total weight of the food donated.
  • To date, the campaign has collected 21.5 million meals for people in need since it launched in 2012.
  • Top-up based on estimated value of food calculated by The Trussell Trust (England & Wales No. 1110522 & Scotland No.SC044246) or FareShare (No.1100051). The total meals figure includes the 30% top-up, permanent and local collections, plus surplus food provisions from January 2014 to July 2015. Details

About The Trussell Trust:

  • Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy or bereavement to welfare problems or receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. Trussell Trust’s 400 strong network of foodbanks provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK.
  • In 2014-15 foodbanks provided emergency food to   104,084,604 people nationwide. Of those helped, almost 400,000 were children.
  • Everyone who comes to a Trussell Trust foodbank is referred by a frontline professional like CAB, housing associations and children’s centres. Over 30,000 professionals refer to foodbanks in the UK.
  • Over 90% of food given out is donated by the public and over 30,000 people volunteer at Trussell Trust foodbanks across the UK.
  • Trussell Trust foodbanks do much more than food, they provide a listening ear and help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis. The Trussell Trust is currently piloting having financial advisers in foodbanks, in partnership with Martin Lewis.
  • The top up is redistributed by the Trussell Trust to participating foodbanks  and then used by them to: develop additional beneficiary support services e.g. counselling and housing advice, provide volunteering/training opportunities, help cover running costs, set up social enterprises and purchase food.

About FareShare:

  • 3.9 million tonnes of food is wasted every year by the food and drink industry. We estimate 10% of this is surplus and fit for consumption, enough food for 800 million meals. We currently handle approximately 2% of the surplus food available in the UK.
  • FareShare ensures that good food is put to good use rather than wasted.
  • Over 1,900 charities and community projects benefit from FareShare food. These include breakfast clubs, women’s refuges and luncheon clubs for older people. These charities save on average £13,000 a year, which can be reinvested into other support services to help people back on their feet.
  • 149,000 people benefit from FareShare food every week.
  • In the last year, the food redistributed by FareShare contributed towards more than 15.3 million meals.
  • We also provide training and education around the essential life skills of food preparation and nutrition, and as well as warehouse employability training.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645
We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.