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Tesco Ads Result in Re-using Plastic Bags

August 22, 2006 at 5:01 am

Tesco has announced that its recent celebrity television advertisements aimed at reducing plastic bag consumption have been an unmitigated success. The adverts first aired on the 15th August, and urge shoppers to re-use old bags or to buy a ‘bag for life’. After only three days, Tesco claimed that shoppers had used one million bags less than they would normally expect.

For a while now the supermarket giant has been making a big effort to go green, but have met with criticism. In January 2004 Tesco introduced biodegradable carrier bags. These bags begin to degrade after two months, and after a year and a half, should have totally decomposed.

However, concerns were raised by recycling companies who claimed that if bags that had already begun to degrade entered their recycling process, the quality of recycled plastic would be compromised. The Liberal Democrats also questioned the overall effectiveness of this initiative, saying that the biodegradable bags would give off harmful greenhouse gases while they broke down.

A national campaign led last year by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) that pressured shoppers to re-use plastic bags, has also recently revealed very limited success.

With 17.5 billion new plastic bags being used every year by UK supermarket shoppers, a successful result is well overdue. For more information on how to make your trip to the supermarket more eco-friendly, see our page on how to Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.

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