Sainsbury's is planning to reduce the number of single-use plastic carrier bags it gives to customers by 50% by April 2009.

The supermarket chain also revealed its disposable bags would be made from 50% recycled content by June, up from the current 33% recyclable content and 10% chalk.

Customers will also be rewarded store points for reusing bags.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Sainsbury's CEO Justin King said the 50% target was a “huge task, and not one we've taken lightly”.

“Our customers continue to tell us that they don't want to be charged for bags but they do want to break the habit of taking one-use bags,” he added.