Press release: MP criticises decision of Sainsbury’s not to offer bagless deliveries

Edinburgh East MP Sheila Gilmore today criticised Sainsbury’s policy of charging an additional 40p for every online delivery to cover the cost of carrier bags, without providing the option of a bagless delivery for customers.

Following the recent introduction of a carrier bag charge in Scotland, Sainsbury’s are now charging an additional 40p for every online delivery. The guidance set out by Zero Waste Scotland, an organisation which is funded by the Scottish Government, clearly states that supermarkets should provide the option of a bagless delivery. Sheila Gilmore MP recently wrote to the Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, asking him to comment on this. In his response, Mr Coupe confirmed that Sainsbury’s customers will have to pay an obligatory 40p charge for carrier bags during every online shop.

Sheila Gilmore said:

It is disappointing that Sainsbury’s have chosen not to follow the guidance set out by Zero Waste Scotland, and offer bagless deliveries for online deliveries.

The mandatory 40p charge for every online customer will particularly impact upon elderly and disabled people who are dependent upon online shopping. This is worrying at a time of austerity and squeezed living standards.

While I welcome the recent introduction of a carrier bag charge in Scotland for environmental reasons, it is entirely wrong that customers are being forced to pay this charge. The policy was designed to decrease dependence on carrier bags, not to enforce compulsory charges on hard-pressed individuals and families.

I would now like to see Sainsbury’s – as other supermarkets have done – work towards introducing a bagless delivery option for Scottish customers.

Notes:

  • Zero Waste Scotland’s Guidance for Retailers document, which states the need for shopping websites “to offer bag-less deliveries or require customers to actively choose whether to purchase chargeable bags for delivery.” The document can be found here.
  • In the response sent to Sheila Gilmore MP from the Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, Mr Coupe states that ‘we are aware of the preferred options regarding online deliveries as per Zero Waste Scotland’s guidance accompanying the regulations, however we do not believe that we are contravening the regulations by not currently offering a bagless delivery.’
  • Other supermarkets, including ASDA, Tesco and Waitrose provide the option of bagless deliveries for online shopping.
  • For more information please contact Matt Brennan on 07742 986 513 or email matthew.brennan@parliament.uk.
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