Co-op calls on government to introduce 50p plastic bag fee

Image: Michaelasbest, Shutterstock

THE Co-op is to remove plastic bags for life from sale in all of its stores and has made a number of recommendations to the UK Government on plastic bags.

The convenience retailer will offer customers compostable carriers instead, in a move which it says will remove 29.5 million bags for life from circulation per year.

It comes following the release of the Co-op’s new¬†bag to rights report, which sets out new policy recommendations for government. This includes the suggestion that retailers be required to report on all reusable bags, as well as single-use bags, to provide greater transparency to track the true impact of the carrier bag levy.

Further suggestions also include requiring all single-use carrier bags to be certified compostable and to introduce a minimum 50p price for reusable bags to create a ‘greater perceived value’ to encourage customers to reuse them instead of treating them as single-use.

The Co-op said, “The replacement of single-use bags in all Co-op stores with its iconic certified compostable carrier bag, means that when customers forget their reusable bag, or just need an extra bag on a shopping trip, there is a low-cost option available that has a built-in and very valuable second use. Currently only one other retailer offers a lower-price point bag alternative to a bag for life. Perhaps unsurprisingly, faced with limited options, many customers are simply choosing the cheapest bag available, which in many cases is a bag for life.”