Press Centre

Asda leads the way with nationwide removal of carrier bags from checkouts

Today, ASDA announced the roll out of a successful trial to remove single use carrier bags from checkouts across its 355 stores.

Speaking at the HRH Prince of Wales May Day Business Summit on climate change today, Paul Kelly, Corporate Affairs Director for ASDA announced a dramatic rise in the purchase of re-useable bags since the beginning of the six -store trial, with an increase of 1200 per cent across these stores.

¹During the trial ASDA saw an average 40% reduction in the number of single use carrier bags used by customers².

The initiative will help the retailer reach the Courtauld’s voluntary commitment to reduce the environmental impact of plastic bags by 25% by the end of this year.

Following the success of the pilot, and to coincide with the start of national Recycle Week , from 1st June all single use carrier bags will be removed from view and placed under the direct control of each checkout operator in every ASDA store, encouraging customers to choose an ASDA ‘bag for life’ as a sustainable and affordable alternative.

Customers who choose a re-usable bag could soon be rewarded with money off their weekly shop as an incentive for taking the greener option. The new trial is designed to help customers change the habit of a lifetime.

The ‘choose to reuse’ initiative will coincide with the introduction of a new range of must have ‘bags for life’ and reusable bags – all of which will be available in prominent positions on the end of checkouts.

Paul Kelly, Corporate Affairs Director for ASDA said: "We are the first retailer to take this bold step and completely remove carrier bags from our checkouts. Between now and June we will be retraining all our checkout colleagues, talking to our customers about the changes, and installing new units for the reusable and ‘bags for life’.

“Many of our customers will begin to see the difference in May, with the full rollout completed the first week of June. The trial has had glowing feedback from customers who have been calling for someone to step up and take the lead on this.”He added;"We are also trialling an incentive scheme that will give customers money off their shopping.

We believe this is the best way to encourage them to change the habit of a life time and start reusing their bags instead. We can all do our bit for the environment – this is about incentivising not penalising, saving the planet one bag at a time."

Posted in Press Centre on 01 May 2008