Holland & Barrett chief executive Peter Aldis has blasted rivals for not following the health food chain’s lead in banning plastic bags.

He called on the government to penalise bag use with tax increases, saying retailers had only adopted “half measures” in attempting to cut bag use.

He made the call after H&B said replacing plastic carriers with reusable fabric and paper bags had prevented 11 million plastic bags from entering use last year.

“Many retailers introduced half measures, such as charging for plastic bags, but no-one else stepped up to the mark and banned plastic bags all together,” Aldis (pictured) said.

“We are proud to be the first to take this step and have proven it can be done.”

He added: “It is rare for a retailer to call for more taxes, but I would encourage the government to use tax increases to put pressure on other retailers. We have made the decision to ban plastic bags from Holland & Barrett stores and shown that it works, but other British retailers need to do more.”

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