Tesco has quietly ditched biodegradable carrier bags, citing customer concerns about the bags’ strength.

The supermarket said it was switching from biodegradable bags to bags containing 15% recycled material. The changeover began earlier this year.

“We took the decision to remove the biodegradable additive because we believed it contributed towards bags becoming weaker and to help better promote their re-use and recycling at end of life,” a spokesman for the chain said.

“This decision was underpinned by a detailed review of the science to help us understand the full life-cycle environmental impacts of our carrier bags.”

The news comes after official figures showed the number of carrier bags handed out by supermarkets had gone up in 2010 – the first annual increase since records began.

Read more
Why those free plastic bags are still hanging on in there (6 August 2011)
Setback for green claims as bag use rises in 2010 (28 July 2011)