One-day initiative to cost grocer £700,000
Sainsbury's will ban plastic carrier bags in all stores for one day next Friday in what it has called a 'revolution in supermarket shopping'.

Customers will only be given bags made from 100 per cent recycled material. They normally cost 10p, but will be distributed for free that day.

A Sainsbury's spokesman said: 'We will provide the bags for free, but we need customers to reuse them to really make the difference. Customers often want to do their bit, but don't know where to start.' The promotion will cost the supermarket chain about£700,000. It normally gives out about 1.6 billion plastic carrier bags a year.

Waste and Resources Action Programme chief executive Liz Goodwin said: 'We hope it results in a longer-term change in habits. Too many of us rely on free carrier bags when we shop and 13 billion are used every year in the UK.'

British retailers have pledged to reduce the use of carrier bags by 25 per cent by 2008.

Tesco already offers customers biodegradable carrier bags and gives loyalty points to those who reuse old ones.

Sainsbury's said next Friday would be the first in a series of five days aimed at highlighting its corporate responsibility principles.

The grocer will monitor customer reactions to see if a longer-lasting bag ban is feasible.