Asda to Phase Out Single-Use Plastic Bags

UK supermarket chain Asda has announced they are introducing a new recycling strategy, which will involve phasing out single-use plastic bags by the end of this year, and making 100% of its own brand packaging recyclable by 2025.

The company are introducing a ‘bag on request’ system where all single-use carrier bags will be removed from checkouts, and customers will have to ask for a bag if they want one.

Other retailers like Iceland have announced they are taking steps to make their own brand packaging more recyclable, but Asda will be the first supermarket to take this action on plastic bags.

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Poor plastic bag record

Asda don’t have a great record when it comes to reducing the number of plastic bags they hand out. They signed a deal to reduce the number of plastic bags they hand out by 25% back by the end of 2008, however, the number of bags they handed out in 2007 actually increased by a staggering 40 million.

Asda trials ‘bag on request’ system

The retailer has trialled the system in 6 of their stores, which has reduced the number of plastic bags given out by 20%.

What else are they doing?

Other measures that Asda plan to introduce include the introduction of reusable coffee cups in their cafes, replacing plastic straws with paper straws, and replacing their polystyrene pizza boards with cardboard.

They have also committed to removing all single cups and plastic cutlery from their shops, cafes, and offices by the end of 2019.

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Why are they doing it?

Asda’s CEO said that Asda wants to be the most trusted retailer; from the products they sell to the way they operate, and this is one of the main reasons why they want to take action to protect the environment.

How have other retailers fared?

Mark and Spencer have reduced the number of bags they hand out by over 70%, and the DIY retailer, B&Q, noted that plastic bag usage was reduced by 88%.

What do shoppers want?

A survey found that 86% of shoppers were in favour of a bag charge, and three quarters would advocate a total ban on single-use bags.

asda bags