Sainsbury's has today announced that it is to introduce a new bag for life to its stores in Wales as compulsory charging for carrier bags is introduced. The new, sturdier bag will replace single-use carrier bags and will be sold for just 5p, allowing customers to re-use more cheaply than if they were to buy full price bags for life.
Dean Clegg, Sainsbury's managing director for Wales and West of England, said: "We believe this approach will add to the work we have done to help customers shop in a greener way. If they accidentally leave their own bags at home, they will be able to purchase a sturdy bag for 5p, that can be used again in the future. By providing these new bags, we make it easier for customers to get into the habit of re-using and it will cost them the same as if they were paying for a single-use bag."
Sainsbury's will donate 1p from the sale of each 5p bag to the Local Charity of the Year of each of its Welsh stores. The current charities of the year for Sainsbury's stores in Wales include the Bridgend Food Bank, Maggies Cancer Unit in Swansea and the Crindau Primary School, Newport, all of whom will now benefit from additional income from Sainsbury's stores.
This new windfall will add to the considerable amount Sainsbury's already donates to good causes. For example, across the whole of the UK, the supermarket generated a record £11.4m for Comic Relief this year - the largest corporate donation of its kind. In addition, the local charity of the year scheme already generates around £1.5m every year.
Sainsbury's has long promoted bag re-usage, not just in Wales but across its entire store estate, by offering customers a Nectar point for each bag they re-use. Last year, we issued around 18 per cent more Nectar points in this way than the year before - a total of over 563 million. Welsh customers will continue to receive a Nectar point for every bag they re-use, including the new 5p bag.
Sainsbury's has worked hard to cut so called 'single use' bag usage by over half over the past four years. The supermarket also reduced the environmental impact of its bags by 63 per cent by reducing their size, weight and increasing their recycled content to 50 per cent. The new Welsh carrier bags are also made from 100% recycled plastic and are recyclable at all Sainsbury's stores.
Notes to Editors
In addition to the 1p per bag sold, which will be donated to local charities, the exchequer will benefit from VAT included in the 5p price. This amounts to approximately 0.9p per bag.