Supermarkets continue to cut carrier bag use

Supermarkets and their customers have reduced the number of single-use carrier bags being handed out for the fourth year in a row.

Supermarkets continue to cut carrier bag use

Since independent monitoring began in 2006, the number handed out in the UK each year has been cut by 4.6bn. And in the year to May 2010 43% fewer bags were handed out than in 2006.

With sales volumes having risen by more than 6% over the same period, the British Retail Consortium says this achievement is a ringing endorsement of the voluntary approach which rejects compulsory bag bans or taxes in favour of allowing retailers to use a range of methods that work best for their customers.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “This is a tremendous achievement by supermarkets, customers and staff. The sustained reduction shows that customers are permanently adopting the habit of re-using their bags.”

He added: “The reduction in bag use is great news, but it’s the halving of the total weight of single-use carrier bags which shows retailers really scoring on the crucial issue of reducing environmental impact.”

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