July 16, 2009 / 11:07 PM / 11 years ago

Shoppers halve carrier bag usage

A shopper carries his bags from the checkout as he leaves the Tesco store in Gorton, Manchester, January 13, 2009. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN)

LONDON (Reuters) - Britons are using half as many carrier bags as they were three years ago following campaigns by leading retailers to reduce waste damaging to the environment, a survey showed on Friday.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said shoppers used 452 million bags at seven major supermarket groups in May, down from 870 million in May 2006.

The seven firms — Asda, Co-operative Group (now including Somerfield), Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose — pledged at the end of 2008 to cut the number of single-use carrier bags used by customers by 50 percent by the end of May versus May 2006.

“These figures send a clear message: the voluntary approach is very successful and can lead to better informed customers and lasting change,” the BRC said in a statement.

Reporting by Mark Potter; Editing by Dan Lalor

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