Tesco shoppers have mixed reaction to 50% price increase for plastic bags

Tesco shoppers have had a mixed reaction to the supermarket’s 50% price increase for plastic carrier bags, which have risen in price from 20p to 30p.

Some shoppers have been criticising the move for being made during the cost-of-living crisis, while others have applauded the decision, pointing out that consumers should know to take their own bags shopping by now.

The government first ordered supermarkets to start charging 5p for single-use carrier bags in October 2015, later doubling that to 10p. Tesco increased this charge to 20p per bag in October 2020.

All four major supermarkets have recently increased the cost of their plastic bags, with Sainsbury’s raising the cost of a plastic bag for life from 20p to 30p just last month.

Morrisons currently charges the most, at 40p for a paper bag and 60p for a reusable plastic bag.

Tesco told Grocery Gazette that it hopes to deter customers from buying the carrier bags in order to cut down on plastic waste, pointing out that the bags for life are made of 100% recycled plastic, can be reused many times, and once worn can be replaced for free and recycled.

A spokesperson said: “We encourage customers to remember their bags to cut down on plastic and avoid paying for bags all-together – making it better for the planet and their pocket.”

READ MORE: Tesco wins court battle over ‘fire and rehire’ programme 

But many consumers have taken to social media to express their displeasure with the timing of the price hike, as households across the UK struggle to make ends meet as finances are squeezed.

One person wrote on Twitter: “So can Tesco explain EXACTLY how a plastic carrier bag costs 30p?

Or are you just treating your customers as cash cows?

What else do they over charge us on? Everything? Hence why @AldiUK & @LidlGB are making massive inroads into the market”

“It’s bad enough prices are rising and cost of living is through the roof, but how can you explain a carrier bag price rising to 30p?” another person asked. “It may only be 10p but on top of everything it’s unacceptable and alienating!”

Not everyone was angry about the decision though, with some applauding Tesco’s decision to charge more.

One said: “Tesco well done in charging more for plastic bags. They should be banned. We only have one planet. Customers, take your own bags. Simple.”

Another pointed out that there are already plenty of plastic bags in circulation, saying: “Who needs more #plastic bags? There are BILLIONS in circulation. The supermarkets should stop selling them. Full stop.

Tesco now charge 30p for a bag for life. There are alternatives and plastic bags should be banned.”

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Leslie Clive Bedford.
    July 18, 2022 12:12 pm

    I haven’t seen any carrier bags.Sold to customer’s on the personned checkouts must be the self scan checkouts that this happens.

  • Mark Erickson-Rohrer
    December 30, 2022 3:09 pm

    Why aren’t stores offering paper bags to customers which should be free or at the very least a nominal fee of a couple of pence? The best will in the world will not stop you forgetting ito take out carrier bags if you’re in a rush or assume they’re in the car. Charging the equivalent of six shillings for a plastic carrier bag is nothing short of extortion as no one has actually stopped making them and there is no legal ban on their sale. So, all this saving the planet nonsense is just plain rubbish otherwise the shops would eventually run out of plastic bags once they’re all sold.


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