Cost of living: Tesco boss warns of spike in food bank use

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Tesco has left customers furious over the price of a plastic bag for life. The checkout item used to cost 20p, but are now priced at 30p amid the cost of living crisis. The supermarket giant said the price hike is to “encourage customers to reuse bags and cut down on plastic”. 

Hugo LeSeux, tweeted: “Nice to see Tesco helping everyone out by increasing the cost of their bag for life by 10p to 30p.”

Jim Pinkston added: “It’s bad enough prices are rising and cost of living is through the roof, but how can you explain a carrier bag price rising to 30p? 

“It may only be 10p but on top of everything it’s unacceptable and alienating!!”

Anthony Rishton asked the supermarket directly: “How much is a @Tesco bag for life? Not the mega expensive ones just the basic ones.” 

Kayley from Tesco’s customer care team replied and confirmed the new price: “Hi there, our Bags for Life are 30p.” 

Paul Rayson tweeted: “@Tesco Have your carrier bags got smaller? How come you’re charging 50% more for them? Is it, like your shop assistant told me, because the cost of plastic has gone up?” 

Andy from Tesco’s customer care explained the price change: “Hi Paul, We do not want to make any money from the sale of carrier bags. 

“Tesco is increasing the price of its Bags for Life to 30p (previously 20p) to encourage customers to reuse bags and cut down on plastic. Many thanks, Andy.” 

Lee from Tesco’s customer care service then added: “Hi so I have had a look and nothing is mentioned about a change in the size of the bag, only that it has increased by 10p for the above reasons. 

“The bags look to be the same size as before. Lee.” 

Despite now being 30p, the bags for life can be replaced by the supermarket, for free, when they break. 

Cathryn Ross wondered: “@Tesco Why aren’t the more expensive [jute or canvas] bags replaced. Surely these are supposed to last longer? Thanks.” 

Chris, from Tesco’s customer care service, explained: “Thanks for getting in touch. Bags for Life are the 30p bags we sell at the checkouts, these are replaceable, not our reusable, jute or canvas bags.” 

Supermarkets were ordered to charge 5p for the weaker, single-use carrier bags back in October 2015. 

Last year, the Government raised this levy to 10p. 

Tesco then doubled the price of its plastic bags to 20p in October 2020, with the same aim of deterring shoppers from buying them. 

Tesco, like other retailers, has phased out the single-use carrier bags, in favour of the more robust “bags for life”. 

Tesco is not the only supermarket to increase their bag for life price, Sainsbury’s is now charging 30p. 

Sainsbury’s explained: “To support our plastic reduction ambitions we have updated the price of our bag for life to encourage customers to re-use them.

“Our bags are made of 100 percent recycled content, are recyclable in store and we continue to donate the profits from the sales to good causes. 

“Customers can also return their old bags to store where they be replaced for free.”

Some supermarkets however are reducing the amount of plastic bags they sell by offering free paper alternatives. 

Like many clothes stores, Morrisons offers free paper grocery bags for customers, and if they want a plastic bag, they are charged 60p as a deterrent. 

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