Carrier Bag Charging

Every 5p makes a difference
Reusable bag

What is Bags of Help?

The 5p Government bag charge.

On Monday 5th October 2015 carrier bag charging began in England, similar to the charging already in place in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.

Tesco, like other large retailers, are now required by law to charge a minimum of 5p for every carrier bag used by a customer. Proceeds generated from sales of the bags will be given to good causes, as set out by Defra (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs). It's all part of the government's drive to reduce waste.

Proceeds from the 5p charge will be invested back into local communities through our Bags of Help local grant scheme.

We've already seen a significant reduction in bag usage - thanks to our customers for recycling and reusing.

Remember, there's no charge for using your own so don't forget to bring your bags!

Government bag charge

Bags of Help

Bags of Help is our exciting local grant scheme where the money raised from the government's 5p bag charge is being used to fund a large number of local projects to create or improve green spaces in communities right across England, Scotland and Wales. These will range from building new parks and sports facilities, to woodland walks and community gardens: great places for our customers, colleagues and communities to enjoy.

We are proud to be working with environmental improvement charity Groundwork, which specialises in transforming local green spaces for the better and will be helping us to administer the scheme.

About Groundwork

Groundwork are an environmental charity who work across the UK helping communities find practical solutions to the challenges they face. By bringing people and the environment together with practical local action.

For more information about Groundwork:

Visit website

Groundwork workers
Click to play the 'What Tesco are doing' video.

How do I get involved?

It's your money - so where the money goes locally is up to you.

Community groups apply

We are calling on local community groups to apply for the funding - the second round of applications opens on 18th April 2016.

Visit to find out more.

Customers vote

Once the applications close, our colleagues and Groundwork will whittle these down to three local projects. You will then be able to vote in store for your favourite project - the next round of voting will take place in October 2016. You will receive a voting token with every transaction.

Grants are awarded

Following the vote, all three projects will receive funding in each of approximately 400 Tesco regions. The amount of funding available for individual local projects will range from £8,000 to £12,000 - keep a look out for the results.

This money is set to make a huge difference to local communities across the UK by ensuring that greenspaces can be enjoyed by all!

Alongside this, customers can nominate projects all year around and we'll do our best to match these to a community group who may want to apply to carry out the project.

First round results

The map below shows all 1170 community groups that will be awarded either £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000, in total that’s £11.7 million being invested into local projects.

How will it affect me?

tesco bags

In store - Customers will have to pay 5p for every single use carrier bag unless they reuse their own bags.

Online Grocery Home Shopping - Customers who opt for a bagged online order will be charged a flat rate of 40p from October 5th for choosing to receive carrier bags with their shopping. We've worked this out based on the average number of bags needed to pack an order. The charge will appear itemised on the Customer Delivery Receipt as 'Bag Charge'. You can avoid the charge by opting for a bagless order.

Click+Collect customers - A bag is considered chargeable if it has an opening and isn't sealed. Therefore Click+Collect Groceries will be subject to a charge unless the bagless collection is selected at checkout. All F&F and Tesco direct Click+Collect orders will be exempt unless the customer requests a carrier bag at the Click+Collect desk to place the package in.

F&F and Tesco direct home deliveries will be exempt from the charge as bags are sealed.

Carrier bag facts

  • Did you know that our carrier bags and Bags for Life are made from 100% recycled plastic?
  • Store Bags for Life in your car boot to make sure you’re not caught short on a shopping trip.
  • If your bag for life breaks we will replace it free of charge.
  • You can avoid the bag charge on your grocery home delivery by opting for a bagless order.
  • Reusable Bags for life are just 10p.


Frequently asked questions about plastic carrier bags at Tesco

Why do I have to pay for bags?

A recent change in law in England means we now have to charge 5p for all single-use carrier bags we issue in England, Scotland and Wales.

For information about the Government carrier bag charge in England please visit:

Why should I reuse my own bag?

Not only will you avoid the charge, you will also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing litter, protecting wildlife and saving resources used to make and distribute bags.

We have a range of re-useable bags available to buy in store.

Remember also that you can replace your Tesco Bag for Life for free in store if it's getting too worn.

So where does that 5p go?

Proceeds generated from the charge, excluding VAT and reasonable costs, will be donated to local projects through our Bags of Help community grant scheme. We will be working Groundwork, an expert organisation, to help us do this.

In England, Scotland and Wales the proceeds generated from the sale of the bags will go to good causes, as set out by DEFRA (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs).

In Northern Ireland the proceeds of the 5p levy are paid to the Department of the Environment (DOE). The money raised is used to deliver local projects to improve the environment.

How does this charge affect Tesco bags for life?

Our ‘Bag for Life’ bags, which are made from 100% recycled materials, will be replaced free of charge when it wears out and we’ll even recycle your old bag.

Tesco Bags for Life can be replaced as often as necessary.

Why are we removing green points?
We introduced Green points for those customers that chose to reuse bags to encourage and thank them for taking environmental responsibility. We are fully supporting the government in their approach to reducing carrier bag usage through charging, that's why we are closing our voluntary scheme.
Why is it that some shops in our area don't charge for the bags?
The Government has chosen to exempt smaller shops (those with fewer than 250 employees) from the plastic bag charge to reduce the admin burden on start-up and growing businesses.