Carrier Bag 640 X 380

Operational waste

Carrier Bags

Sainsbury’s is committed to being the UK’s greenest grocer. In our Sustainability Plan, we have committed that by 2020 we will make sure that our own packaging has been reduced by a half compared to 2005.

We have reduced the size and increased the recycled content of our single-use plastic carrier bags. All of our single-use orange plastic carrier bags are now made of 25% recycled content and are 100% recyclable. We offer a range of bags for life and have installed signs in our car parks to remind our customers to bring their reusable carrier bags with them. Our supermarkets have plastic film recycling bins so that customers can recycle carrier bags and other types of plastic such as bread bags. Our groceries online delivery drivers will also take bags back from our customers to recycle.

In the UK we no longer provide customers in supermarkets with free single use bags which would be subject to the carrier bag levy. We chose instead to focus on the promotion of bags for life in supermarkets, which are made of 100% recycled content and are 100% recyclable. This encourages our customers to re-use bags.

The below figures therefore represent the single-use carrier bags subject to the levy, which are now only available online.

Wales - 2015/16 reporting year

Number of chargeable bags supplied Consideration received Charge received Net proceeds of the charge (minus VAT) Difference between charge and proceeds (VAT)
1,528,328  £76,416.40 £76,416.40 £63,680.33 £12,736.07

Scotland - 2015/16 reporting year

Number of chargeable bags supplied Consideration received Charge received Net proceeds of the charge (minus VAT) Difference between charge and proceeds (VAT)
3,414,336  £170,716.80 £170,716.80 £142,264.00 £28,452.80

Mandatory reporting to DEFRA for England only for half year since legislation - 5th October 2015 to 6th April 2016 

Number of chargeable bags supplied Consideration received Charge received Net proceeds of the charge (minus VAT) Difference between charge and proceeds (VAT)
25,078,408 £1,253,920 £1,253,920 £1,044,933.33 £208,986.87


As part of our commitment to make a positive difference to our community, the net proceeds from the carrier bag levy, in addition to all profits from our 5p and 10p reusable bags, are added to our stores' Community Budgets to support good casues locally and donated to their Local Charity Partners.