Co-op has announced a major ban that will take effect in its stores in the UK.
The supermarket chain has announced that it is banning Bags For Life and has already begun removing them from stores.
Co-op will remove the heavy-duty plastic bags from its 2,600 stores, after warning that the bag has become the new disposable plastic bag.
Living bags require the production of more plastic than disposable carriers, which has increased the amount of plastic in circulation.
The phasing out of the supermarket bags began on April 30 and will remove 29.5 million bags for life, weighing about 870 tonnes of plastic, from sale each year.
The rest of the stock is expected to be sold by the end of the summer.
Co-op will replace them with 10p fertilizers to ensure customers can buy a low-cost, viable option.
The fee for disposable plastic bags in the UK is estimated to double from 5 to 10 in May.
Shoppers praised the company for the initiative and many want to see bag changes at other supermarket retailers, according to the Birmingham Mail.
Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food, said: “Increased use of bags for life has led to a sharp increase in the use of plastics.
“With over 1.5 billion bags sold each year by retailers, this remains a huge issue for our industry, as many buyers regularly buy so-called life bags to be used only once and this leads to a significant increase in the amount of plastic produced .
“To help deal with plastic pollution and the use of unnecessary plastic, we will stop selling bags for life when current stocks run out.
“We also ensure that all our members and customers have access to a choice of low price point that is more environmentally friendly, along with more durable bags at a higher price point.
“We believe that it should be mandatory for all retailers to report sales of all their reusable luggage, not just disposable bags.
“Right now, Co-op is the only major retailer that lists all the bags it sells. This policy would allow a fuller understanding of the impact of the levy and its actual impact on purchasing behaviors when customers make accident decisions. “
Other Co-op recommendations include the requirement for composting certification for all disposable carrying bags.
They will also introduce a minimum price of 50p for reusable bags to create more perceived value, encouraging customers to reuse them instead of treating them as a single use.
Helen Bird, Waste and Resource Commitment Strategy Officer, said: “All bags, regardless of the material from which they are made, affect the environment.
“The most important thing to reduce this impact is reuse. Just as we all now have a mask for ourselves, we must do the same with shopping bags.
“Supermarkets have a responsibility to encourage this and we would like to see transparent reports on all types of shopping bags – whether made of traditional plastic, compost plastic or paper.
“There will be times when we forget to bring a bag and in these cases we can still reuse them and at the end of their lives we recycle them in supermarket collection points.
“For Co-op buyers this means they are able to reuse the carrying bags and if they have a garbage collection then they can use it as a caddy investment.”