Opinion: From our Readers - Sainsbury's will prompt shoppers about bags

I'd like to follow up on Danny Rogers' editorial 'Retailers can take a moral lead' (Opinion, 3 October), which featured our announcement that bags will be removed from check-outs.

I agree with his final point that consumers need to remember to take their own bag to the shops rather than worry about other issues. This is why our announcement last week included the launch of a text reminder service that has been deliberately created to remind customers to take bags shopping.

Fifty-eight per cent of shoppers still say they want to reuse bags but keep forgetting, so the weekly text reminders will be a practical way of addressing this.

We would argue it is just as bold to stand by our stance that an outright ban of bags is not the only solution, especially following pressure to charge customers. Instead, we have listened to our customers who want to do the right thing but need help to tackle these issues rather than being charged more during testing times. Since June, we have seen a 28 per cent reduction in the use of free plastic bags, which given the millions of shoppers we serve is significant. This strategy seems to be working well.

- Hannah Chance, PR manager, corporate responsibility, Sainsbury's.

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