Tesco cuts 1.8bn plastic bags a year

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The combination of consumer environmentalism with retailer cost-cutting is having the expected major impact on the UK’s use of plastic bags. All the big supermarkets have been running campaigns to reduce the use of these. Some, like Marks & Spencer, now charge 5p a bag. Others, such as Sainsbury’s, send texts to remind customers to bring their own bags.

Customers love it. They feel they are doing their bit for the environment. Supermarkets love it even more, as they save the cost of the bag. M&S has cut usage by 80%. Tesco used 1.8bn fewer bags last year. The losers, of course, are the polyethylene producers – yet another bit of lost demand, in what had been a very stable market.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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