We’ve all used them, even store large quantities of them somewhere in the home, but bags for life are actually having a worse effect on the environment than previosuly thought.
New research from Greenpeace and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has revealed supermarkets dumped an estimated 903,000 tones of plastic packaging into the environment in 2018, an increase of 17,000 tonnes from 2017’s carbon footprint numbers, with bags for life a major contributor.
After years of championing the reduction of plastic waste through various green living initiatives, supermarkets and high street stores are actually causing even more harm than good.
Research has revealed the surge in plastic waste has been primarily caused by a 26% rise in the sale of bags for life to 1.5 billion, or 54 bags per household per year.
The rise in the sale of bags for life reveals that shoppers have simply switched from single-use plastic bags, which have been completely removed stores in the UK, to the thicker bag for life bags.
Astonishingly, seven out of the top 10 supermarkets increase their overall plastic footprint year-on-year. Only Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsburys managed to reduce, marginally, their plastic waste consumption.
Currently the cost to purchase a bag for life in shops is incidental, leading to the increase of “plastic mountains” along with more profits for major supermarkets.
Additionally, sales of “food to go” for lunch meals are also fueling a rise in the use of plastic packaging.
The new bags for life damage research and report is calling on the major supermarkets and high street stores to either ban bags for life, or rise the price to over 70p to actively discourage the purchase of them.
For more information on the bags for life damage research visit Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) or Greenpeace online.