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retail environment

Basket cases

5p plastic bag charges driving customers to steal baskets

One of the UK’s largest supermarkets has been forced to put plastic hard tags on shopping baskets because of a spike in thefts believed to have been triggered by the introduction of the 5 pence levy on plastic bags.

Tesco store in Chadderton, Oldham has reportedly had a third of its baskets stolen since the charge was brought into force across England on 5th October.

Managers say they have now tried to 'thief-proof' the wire baskets to prevent more thefts.

A spokesman for Tesco said tagging baskets was not a national policy and it was down to managers at individual stores to decide whether or not to introduce tagged baskets.

“We need to keep baskets for customers who come and shop in the stores. Whether other stores are doing it is up to them. It’s not a nationwide thing. It’s down to the individual store and what works best for their customers.

“We’re always working to provide the best service we can for our customers and this includes making sure baskets are available for shoppers. In some cases it’s been necessary to attach security tags to baskets to prevent them from being stolen.”

The new 5p charge aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic carrier bags, and the litter associated with them, by encouraging people to re-use bags or to use ‘bags for life’.

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