East of England Co-operative Society has reduced its carrier bag usage by 84% since 2008.

The figure equates to more than 100 million carrier bags – enough to span the Olympic Park, the society said.

It beats the society’s original goal of cutting usage by 75% when it launched its carrier bag reduction campaign across its 130 food stores four years ago. East of England stopped handing out free carrier bags and began charging 1p per small degradable bag and 2p for larger bags.

“The society is committed to reducing its impact on the environment but initiatives like this would not work without the support of our customers and members,” said executive officer for retail Roger Grosvenor.

“I’d like to thank everyone for embracing this campaign and playing a bigger part than we ever expected, or hoped for, in reducing landfill and saving the environment.”