After banning its 5p reusable plastic bags in 2018, Lidl has announced its Welsh branches will also be jettisoning the 9p bags for life, because people are using them like 5p bags instead of switching away from plastic.
The company is the first in the UK to ditch bags for life, and the new policy in Lidl's 54 Welsh branches will act as a trial for the rest of the country. It's estimated the ban will save 5 million bags and over 150 tonnes of plastic waste a year, while if it's extended to the rest of the country, 80 million bags and 2,500 tonnes of plastic would be saved.
Lidl says banning the 5p carriers last year has already saved 26 million bags.
The trial starts on the 1st of May and forms part of a wider push against plastic at the supermarket chain. It's aiming to reduce plastic in its packaging by 20% before 2022, and to make all of its own-brand packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Lidl UK CEO Christian Härtnagel comments:
"We're proud of our work at Lidl to reduce plastic across our stores, and particularly the steps we have taken over the years to reduce sales of plastic carrier bags.
After seeing that our 9p reusable bag was increasingly being used as a single use option, we wanted to look at how we could mitigate this pattern.
Through this trial, we will be able to fully assess the impact that removing our 9p plastic bags has in helping customers shift to a fully reusable option."
Lidl will be offering reusable bags made from cotton and jute in place of the bags for life, although it'll still offer a heavy-duty carrier for 38p and a freezer bag for 65p. Guess what'll get used as one-offs next...?
Main image: Thomas Schlosser via Flickr CC