The UKs biggest supermarket chain is diverting 100 per cent of its waste from landfill a year ahead of its own 2010 target. But it has published misleading figures giving the impression that it has met industry targets to halve the use of plastic bags.
Tesco executive director Lucy Neville-Rolfe said: Climate change is the biggest challenge facing us today and businesses such as Tesco have a responsibility to provide leadership.
But the The Times (4 July) has reported that Tesco put out a misleading statement that customers were using 50 per cent fewer carrier bags than they did before.
The news comes after seven supermarket chains Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Somerfield and Waitrose failed to meet their voluntary single-use carrier bag target by two per cent last month. The pledge was made three years ago with the Waste & Resources Action Programme, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Department of Environment. All retailers committed to cutting the number of bags they used by 50 per cent in May 2009.
The Times learnt that Tesco admitted that its 50 per cent figure had been calculated in a different way to the one issued by WRAP. It said that its figure had been adjusted to account for growth in sales and did not reflect the chains actual performance.
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn told the Times that he was not yet persuaded of the case for a plastic bag ban but said that the Government needed to set the industry a clearer target and review progress in 2010.