Supermarket chain Sainsburys has announced plans to halve its plastic bag usage by April 2009.
The retailer is aiming to change consumer behaviour by reducing the amount of plastic bags people use and the overall environmental impact of the bags.
To achieve this Sainsburys will pilot a series of initiatives aimed at helping customers cut down on plastic bags or to use re-useable bags. In one trial, similar to a scheme run by Asda,
Sainsburys has pledged to move all plastic bags from the end of its tills and place them underneath the till desk, so that customers have to request a bag for their shopping. This Saturday (April 19) the company plans to give all customers a free fridge magnet and car sticker, reminding them to take their old bags with them when they go shopping.
The big four supermarket chains Asda, Sainsburys, Tesco and Morrisons refuse to introduce a levy on their plastic bags, despite calls from the Chancellor Alistair Darling to introduce one.
Chief executive Justin King said: Sainsburys does not believe that charging for single-use bags is the answer or that it is the most likely way to achieve lasting benefit for the environment. Forcing customers to make a decision they dont fully understand is not the best way to achieve sustained behavioural change. This requires a series of actions to help customers to reduce, reuse and recycle.
The retailer also announced that it would increase the recycled content of its plastic bags from 33% to 50% by June.