Tesco has revealed over 1.5 billion single-use carrier bags have been saved by its customers in England since the introduction of the Government bag charge a year ago.
The figures represent a 72% fall in the use of single-use plastic bags being used in the supermarket chain’s stores.
Tesco.com shoppers have also dramatically reduced the number of bags they use, with 57% selecting ‘bagless’ deliveries.
The Government’s 5p plastic bag charge was introduced in England on October 5 2015 with the aim of cutting the number of plastic bags given out in shops and improving the environment.
Over the last year, the money raised from customers buying bags has been used to help fund 1,170 community projects as part of Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.
Under the initiative, charities and community groups are awarded grants ranging from £8,000 to £12,000, with Tesco customers able to choose which projects receive the most funding.
Tesco UK & ROI communications director George Gordon said: “We’re encouraging our customers to use fewer single-use bags, so these figures are really encouraging. Also, the money raised from our customers buying bags is making a big difference to local communities across the country.
“Thanks to Bags of Help, nearly £12 million has been spent so far on local environmental improvement projects like parks, sports facilities, school playgrounds and community gardens – projects that have all been chosen by our customers.
“Going forward, we will help customers do even more for their communities by bringing together more projects for them to vote on every month.”
The next customer vote will take place from October 31 to November 13 in all stores and £12.5 million is up for grabs.