The 10 week Choose to Reuse trial was run by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in Bristol and Edinburgh last year, in conjunction with a number of major supermarket retailers.
It aimed to see if customers could be persuaded to use fewer free carrier bags on their shopping trips, by reusing bags instead.
But the trial as a whole failed to produce a strong positive change in bag use behaviour.
WRAP campaign project manager Julia Falcon said: Even with intensive promotion to encourage people to bring bags with them and reuse bags for shopping, it seems that only certain audiences were receptive and actually made changes in response to the Choose to Reuse campaign.
Analysis of the results found that older shoppers, and those in social groups D and E partly skilled and unskilled workers, seemed more receptive to the campaign. Though there was not enough evidence to explain why, it suggests more targeted campaigns may have a better response.
Responses in some stores were also better than others and this has been attributed to the size of shopping trip. The results indicated that bag reuse was greater for medium-sized shopping trips, and low for small and large shopping trips.
Data from the retailers involved showed that sales of reusable bags or bags for life increased during the campaign.
Falcon added: While the trial overall has not produced an increase in reuse, the work has made an important contribution to understanding the issues surrounding shopping use, and has brought to light some important differences between shoppers that could help shape any future initiatives.
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