Plastic bags will be replaced with re-usable bags at check-outs free of charge for two weeks. Asda is committed to meeting a 50 per cent reduction target in carrier bag use.
Corporate policy manager Paul Hedley said: “We are encouraging our customers to reuse their bags by giving them free reusable bags for life and having clear signage across our stores to encourage reuse.”
Hedley said that Asda had no plans to charge customers for bags or “penalise shoppers at a time when they are already feeling the pinch”.
UK retailers, including Asda, have made a voluntary commitment with Government to make a 50 per cent reduction for their carrier bags by the end of May.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative at an Asda store in Edinburgh Environment Secretary Richard Locchead said: “It’s very encouraging to see Asda’s work and its efforts to reduce the unnecessary use of carrier bags. A significant number of Asda’s Scottish stores are already above this 50 per cent target. The Scottish Government prefer voluntary routes for reducing carrier bag usage and it’s great to see a global name like Asda working to achieve to meet the target.
In February, UK figures were announced demonstrating carrier bag use had fallen 26 per cent in 2008 compared to 2006.
“Of course, carrier bags are just part of our work with retailers, we are also working with them in other areas, such as food waste and packaging.”