TESCO BANS BAGS; EXCLUSIVE Change to Help Save Environment Fact: Tesco PLC Is the Largest British Retailer No More Carriers at Tills
Byline: BY RUKI SAYID CONSUMER EDITOR
TESCO last night jumped on the green bandwagon by scrapping plastic bags at its larger stores.
Its Tesco Extra hypermarkets have been ordered only to dole out carriers from under the counter to customers who specifically ask for them.
The pilot scheme - started in Winchester, Hants - has been running for several weeks.
Yesterday one store in Slough, Berks, warned shoppers that they will soon have to buy bags for life. But they will not be charged for plastic carriers.
The surprise scheme is being seen as a U-turn by Britain's biggest grocer which gives away three billion bags a year. Some experts believe Tesco is testing the water ahead of government changes that could see all UK retailers being forced to charge for bags.
Shoppers at Tesco's Slough branch were yesterday left bemused by notices warning them of the changes.
One shopper said: "I was told by the checkout staff that they were going to stop giving out carrier bags and there's posters everywhere saying the same thing. That's fine if you are just buying a few items and you can bring your own but it's not really practical for a full family shop."
Tesco denied that free bags would be phased out completely. A spokesman said: "While one-use carriers will no longer be on display at checkouts, customers can ask for them and they will be supplied without charge.
"A few Extras have been given the flexibility to remove bags from display but give them out on request. …