Waitrose ditches 10p plastic bags and introduces 50p and 75p versions in bid to cut plastic waste.

WAITROSE is ditching 10p plastic bags in favour of ones costing 50p and 75p.

The supermarket said it wanted to cut carrier bag sales by offering pricier ones made from tougher plastic.

 Waitrose says it wants to reduce sales of carrier bags by offering pricier ones made from tougher plastic

Waitrose says it wants to reduce sales of carrier bags by offering pricier ones made from tougher plastic

It says a trial in its Oxford store has proved a success, with more customers bringing their own bags — and now it wants to roll out the idea to more shops in the New Year.

The 75p bag is slightly bigger than the 10p one but the 50p one is smaller. However, the new bags are made from recycled plastic and designed to last “significantly longer”.

Last year, supermarkets sold 1.5billion bags for life — equivalent to 58 a household — showing shoppers still treat them as a throwaway option.

Juliet Phillips, of the Environmental Investigation Agency charity, praised the move, saying: “Waitrose is showing leadership by getting rid of so-called ‘bags for life’, and we encourage other supermarkets to follow in their footsteps.

“The UK’s largest supermarkets distributed over 1.5 billion ‘bags for life’ last year – the equivalent of 58 per household in the UK. Clearly, these are being treated by many customers as a throwaway option.

“By bringing in their own bags, customers can save money and help reduce the staggering amount of plastic waste the UK is generating each year.”

Tor Harris, of Waitrose, said: “We still have work to do so it's not in the bag just yet, but the trial showed the potential appetite to ditch these bags in the future in favour of paying more for something they could reuse for a lot longer.”

But one Oxford customer said of the 50p bags: “Great to be eco but this is just profiteering.”

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