Supermarket Chains Ecology Question 12

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Does the brand stimulate re-use of carrier bags among consumers?

Dutch version: Stimuleert de supermarkt hergebruik van boodschappentassen bij consumenten?

German version: Regt der Markenhersteller seine Kunden dazu an Tragetaschen wiederzuverwenden?


Around 30 million tonnes of household waste are generated in the UK every year, of which 5,9 million tonnes is packaging. Packaging and waste rate highly on consumers’ environmental concerns: 79 per cent of consumers believe products are over-packaged, while 82 per cent believe packaging is a major environmental problem [1].

The British NGO Consumer Focus has set out to measure how well the supermarkets help consumers to reduce, re-use and recycle and rated companies on, amongst others, the incentive to re-use carrier bags. In the Netherlands, the best practice is given by Jumbo who put the so-called 'Bagbubble' in all of its stores. With the bagbubble, consumers can dispose and grab used plastic bags. Another best practice is given by Lidl Netherlands; this supermarket chain has simply never provided free plastic bags, so customers have to take a shopping bag with them.

For this question we also acknowledge other creative incentives for consumers to re-use carrier bags. Only selling bags-for-life is not sufficient. Clear and consequent signposting, campaigns or financial incentives like reductions are eligible, for as long as all stores are concerned and the campaign is planned for at least the next 3 years.