Tesco ends sale of 5p single-use carrier bags

Customers will have to buy 10p bag-for-life if they don't bring their own

(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Tesco has taken a further step in the war against disposable plastic by announcing an end to single-use carrier bags from the end of this month.

Britain's largest supermarket chain has sold the 5p bags since charges were introduced by law in 2015.

However, it has decided to stop this after a ten-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich requiring customers to bring their own bag or buy a 10p bag-for-life resulted in 25 per cent fewer carriers being bought, says the BBC.

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Tesco sells 700 million carrier bags a year, giving an annual potential saving of 175 million carriers.

The grocer is not the first to remove the single-use option. Sainsbury's introduced bags-for-life when the new laws first came into force, but at the standard price of 5p.

In both cases, if the bag becomes too ragged to use, shoppers can return them for a free replacement.

As per the law, Tesco has donated the proceeds of its carrier bag charges to charities and it says it will continue to do so with money raised from the sale of 10p bags. It has so far raised £33m for more than 6,400 groups.

Louise Edge, senior campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: "The plastic bag charge has done wonders for reducing the number of bags polluting our coastlines and waters.

"Now we need to see the same for throwaway plastic bottles - a deposit return scheme which encourages collection."

Tesco rolls out same-day delivery to '99% of UK'

25 July

Tesco is expanding its same-day delivery service to customers in 99 per cent of the UK by the end of next month.

An announcement from Britain's largest supermarket said it had taken the decision after demand for the service rose 18 per cent in the past year.

Tesco began same-day deliveries in parts of London and the south-east three years ago, followed by a same-day "click and collect" service to 300 stores this year, says the Daily Telegraph.

Orders placed by 1pm will be delivered from 7pm that day, Monday to Saturday across the country and seven days a week in London and the south-east. Customers will be charged between £3 and £9, although "delivery saver" members will get it free for a period of time.

The move is being seen as an attempt to head off rivals, not least the emerging threat of Amazon which is planning to extend the same-day delivery service it currently offers in London.

Morrisons has a deal with the online giant to supply fresh and frozen food to its Amazon Prime customers, while Sainsbury's has launched its own same-day delivery option at 30 stores.

Tesco claimed its version would give it the "biggest reach of any retailer in the UK, stretching from the Shetland Islands in Scotland to Cornwall in south-west England", says The Guardian.

Tesco's Booker deal faces full competition investigation

12 July

Tesco's £3.7bn buyout of wholesaler and convenience store franchise owner Booker Group will be subject to a full-scale competition investigation.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced this morning it was referring the deal to a comprehensive stage-two investigation, which has a statutory timetable of 24 weeks.

Investigators should report back this side of Christmas, the BBC says, adding Tesco clearly expected this as it guided investors to expect final approval for the takeover to come in late 2017 or early 2018.

Both Tesco and Booker last month asked the CMA to "fast-track its investigation… to a more in-depth Phase 2 inquiry", adds the broadcaster.

The watchdog said it had identified 350 local areas where there was "overlap" between the grocer's stores and independent shops supplied by Booker, which could reduce competition and inflating prices.

"Booker could offer inferior wholesale terms to the stores it currently supplies 'in order to drive customers to their local Tesco'," says the BBC.

The wholesaler owns the Premier, Londis, Budgens and Family Shopper convenience store brands, with shops owned by franchisees who are supplied by the group. It also supplies a much wider network of independent stories and restaurants.

"The proposed deal would turn Britain's biggest retailer into a major supplier to small retailers, serving 125,000 independent convenience stores as well as 468,000 restaurants and pubs," says The Guardian.

Tesco has always dismissed competition concerns on the grounds Booker does not own any stores of its own.

A spokesperson said: "This merger has always been about growth and we remain convinced it will bring benefits for consumers, independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers and colleagues."

The CMA added there were other competition concerns that had been raised but not yet fully investigated.

Tesco home deliveries cancelled after computer glitch

21 June

Thousands of Tesco home delivery customers have had their orders cancelled due to a computer glitch.

The problem, which is believed to have affected ten per cent of orders, was related to the systems used to pick stock in certain stores, said the grocer.

A spokesperson said: "We're currently experiencing an IT issue which is affecting some grocery home shopping orders.

"We're working hard to fix this problem and apologise to customers for any inconvenience this may cause."

Customers took to social media to complain their shopping had not arrived, or had been cancelled at short notice with no alternative delivery time offered, reports the BBC.

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Tesco offered shoppers a £10 voucher in compensation and told them to rearrange their orders online.

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