Asda has announced the roll out of a trial to remove single use carrier bags from checkouts across its 355 stores.

The carrier bags will be removed from view and placed under the direct control of each checkout operator in all Asda stores from 1 June, encouraging customers to opt for a ‘bag for life’ as an alternative.

Since the beginning of a six-store trial, Asda has seen a “dramatic” rise in the purchase of re-useable bags, with an increase of 1200% across those stores, Paul Kelly, corporate affairs director for Asda confirmed yesterday (1 May).

During the trial the retail giant saw an average 40% reduction in the number of single use carrier bags used by customers. 

“The trial has had glowing feedback from customers who have been calling for someone to step up and take the lead on this,” said Kelly. “We are the first major supermarket to take this bold step and completely remove carrier bags from our checkouts.”

The retailer also has plans to offer a trial incentive to customers who choose a re-useable bag by giving them money off their weekly shop.

“We believe this is the best way to encourage them to change the habit of a life time and start reusing their bags instead,” Kelly added. “We can all do our bit for the environment – this is about incentivising not penalising, saving the planet one bag at a time.”