North Somerset stores getting rid of ALL plastic bags

Co-op compostable bags

Compostable bags will still be available - Credit: Southern Co-op

Co-op stores in North Somerset are removing single-use carrier bags and plastic bags for life from sale.

Southern Co-op, which has just over 200 convenience stores across the south of England - including in Banwell, Clevedon, Portishead, Nailsea, Congresbury and Burnham - is hoping to deter customers from treating bags for life as if they were single-use.

Instead, the stores will still offer compostable carrier bags for 10p, which it says are a more environmentally-responsible choice and have a secondary use as a food waste caddy liner.

The bags are certified compostable and can be collected as part of local authority household food waste collections or are suitable for use in home compost bins.

Gemma Lacey, director for sustainability and communications at Southern Co-op, said: "For years we have been asking our customers and members to bring bags with them so this is naturally the next step - removing the option of buying single use plastic bags or using a plastic bag for life as the next cheapest alternative.

"We have a duty to act against climate change and to give our customers a way to be more environmentally responsible. 

"However, as our stores are based on convenience, we understand that people might not be carrying a bag with them, so the compostable bag is a more responsible alternative to plastic."

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Plastic bags for life are being replaced by durable fold away bags and large shoppers with a current price of £1 to encourage customers to reuse them instead of treating them as single-use.

The switch has already taken place in many stores with other changeovers taking place over the next month or so as stores work through the remaining stock of existing bags.

For more on Southern Co-op's long term strategy and climate change commitments, visit