Plastic bags are one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste, a problem leading supermarkets are all keen to tackle. Greenpeace report that the ten biggest stores used more than 900,000 tonnes of plastic last year, with bags making up a large proportion of that.
In 2015, supermarkets started charging 5p for their single use carrier bags, and 10p for a bag for life. Most have gone one step further and ditched the single use bags all together. But 10p doesn't seem to be a big enough deterrent to their use, with figures for most supermarkets levelling off and in some cases, even rising.
Naming and shaming. Plastic bag use in 2018 and 2019. [Image: Greenpeace]
"More needs to be done" says Fiona Nicholls, of Greenpeace UK, "Supermarkets are failing on plastics and failing their customers. We hear piecemeal supermarket announcements on plastic every other week, but in reality they are putting more plastic on the shelves than ever."
As well as suggesting a legally binding target for reduction of single use plastics, Greenpeace have urged supermarkets to ban all plastic bags, including bags for life or increase the price to 'at least 70p each'