Carrier bags: Leading UK supermarket retailers supply carrier bag data

Leading UK supermarket retailers report carrier bag data

Following on from the 2009 Voluntary Carrier Bag Agreement, seven major retailers agreed to continue monitoring carrier bag usage during 2010 - 2014, although no formal target was agreed to measure against. The participating retailers were: Asda (including ex-Netto stores), Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, Tesco and Waitrose. WRAP’s role is to collect and analyse the data, and publish the figures. 

2015 (2014 data)

Data published by WRAP shows that 8.5 billion thin-gauge (single-use) bags were used in 2014 by customers of UK supermarkets .

This represents an increase of 2.3 % compared with 2013 (8.3 billion), and a decrease of 30% compared with 2006 (12.2 billion), when reporting began.

The overall number of bags (which include re-usable bags) issued by supermarkets in 2014 totalled 9.0 billion. This compares to 8.8 billion bags in 2013 and 12.4 billion bags in 2006.

These figures represent an increase of 2.4% between 2013 and 2014, and a reduction of 28% since the baseline year of 2006.

In 2014, retailers supplied information about front-of-store recycling of carrier bags. Of the 4 retailers that responded, 68% of their shops had front-of-store recycling for carrier bags.

Please see the presentation and news release for further information.

2014 (2013 data)

2013 (2013 data)

2012 (2011 data)

2011 (2010 data)

2010 (2009 data)

2009 (2008 data) – narrowly missed target of 50%

2008 (2007 data) – exceeded target of 25%  

*Four retailers provided data for all stores, and a further two provided data for their larger-format stores only.

**On 1 October 2011 Wales introduced a charge for single use carrier bags. The data set represents the first full calendar year of reporting under that charge.

***Please note that this data relates to carrier bag use prior to the carrier bag charge being implemented across Northern Ireland. The figures are expressed to the nearest 10 million in the table. When expressed to the nearest million the 2011 figure represents 188 million bags compared to 193 million in 2012, hence the 3% rise.