Plastic Bag Charge Expected To Raise Millions For Good Causes
Government scheme for all large retailers to charge 5p for single-use plastic bags has come into force.
Tesco expects the charge to be biggest ever single source of charity funding raised from customers, with tens of millions to be raised
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.
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.
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 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
Posted on 5th October 2015