Tesco is to stop using plastic carrier bags to deliver its groceries as the war on single-use plastics steps up.

It is the second major UK grocer to announce it would ban carrier bags for grocery deliveries after rival Asda revealed earlier this month it would stop using bags from August.

The grocer’s drivers will instead use reusable green trays to take deliveries straight into customers’ kitchens.

However, Tesco says that due to Government guidelines it will still use red plastic bags to separate raw meat and fish, but customers will have the opportunity to recycle them by giving them back to the driver.

Tesco estimates the change in policy will result in 250 million fewer carrier bags being used each year, which will mean nearly 2,000 tonnes of plastic coming out of production annually.

The grocer’s decision to phase out carrier bags follows on from a successful trial across 33 stores for 28 weeks. It will stop using bags for deliveries nationwide from August 19.

Tesco quality director Sarah Bradbury said: “Removing carrier bags from our online shopping is one of the many ways we are making changes to help customers reduce their use of plastic.

“Right now, we’re reviewing all our packaging, including plastic, looking to remove where possible. Where it’s not right to remove we will reduce, help customers reuse and ensure all packaging can be recycled. Our scale means a simple, straightforward change can have such a big impact.”

By the end of the year, Tesco aims to remove the hardest-to-recycle materials from its own-brand packaging.

It has an ambition to create a closed-loop system for packaging that uses as little plastic as possible and where it is used, it will be re-used, collected and recycled continuously in order to ensure no plastic packaging goes to landfill.

Paula Chin, sustainable materials specialist at WWF, said: “Plastic pollution is the most visible example of the environmental crisis we are currently facing and we fully support Tesco’s move to reduce the amount of single-use plastic going out to its customers.”