Recently everyone has been up in arms about Tesco scrapping its 5p carrier bags, for 10p bags for life. Shoppers were furious that if they didn’t bring their own bags in, they were going to have to pay double the price.
This got me thinking, Tesco isn’t the only supermarket changing up its shopping bag policy – Asda has too but nothing has been written about it.
Asda has removed its 5p carrier bags from display at the tills
When I was in Swansea with my sister a while back, we popped to Asda to pick up a load of food for the week. When we went to pay at one of those self-service tills, there were no 5p bags anywhere, only 10p ones.
I pointed this out to my sister and she said, “It’s a proper pain. It’s always like that. What’s annoying is that you HAVE to ask an employee to get you one, but they are never around.”
I didn’t have bags on me (and I know I should be used to this being from Wales – we’ve been charging for plastic bags since 2011), couldn’t find a member of staff so ended up carrying it all out in my arms.
What Asda says about this
The more I thought about it, the more it annoyed me. I contacted Asda’s press office and it confirmed that this wasn’t just a Swansea thing, it was nationwide.
Asda said: “For background information we encourage our customers to reuse their bags when they shop with us and have a wide range of reusable bags for them to choose from, starting from 8p. If a customer asks for a bag our colleagues will always provide them with a 5p single use bag.”
Something that struck me was that the money from the 5p charge is supposed to go back to the treasury from the VAT charge, and any profits go back to the retailer (but many are expected to donate to charity – Tesco and Marks and Spencer do for example).
I asked the press office who gets the profits from the Asda branded plastic bags, and the press office went quiet on me.
So in a move that embarrassed my sister, I got her to ask the staff in the store. No-one on the shop floor had a clue, so they ‘rang upstairs’ where a manager told her that all the profits go to Asda. I’ve contacted Asda again to clarify this, so will update if I get any more information.
What can you do about this?
Of course, you can take your own bags to the store to save paying 10p a bag. However if you do just want to pay for a bag – but a 5p one – go to a till which has a cashier, where the 5p bags are lurking underneath rather than clearly displayed above the till.
If you’re planning on going to a self-service machine, which can be unmanned, get a staff member’s attention before going in, saying you’ll want some 5p bags, which will prevent you leaving your stuff in one place, while running off to find someone.
Are you an Asda shopper? Have you noticed the lack of 5p carrier bags readily available? Let me know in the comments.