If the trial is popular, introducing paper bags only across all its 494 stores would save 90 million plastic bags being used annually, the equivalent of around 3,500 tons of plastic per year, the company claimed.
Chief executive David Potts said last night: “We believe customers are ready to stop using plastic carrier bags as they want to reduce the amount of plastic they have in their lives and keep it out of the environment.
“We know that many are taking reusable bags back to store and, if they forget these, we have paper bags that are tough, convenient and a re-useable alternative.”
The proposed paper bag can hold up to 35lb, has handles, can carry a similar amount of items as its plastic counterpart and is easily recyclable.
Last year Sainsbury’s said it was the first UK supermarket to remove plastic bags for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items.
Tesco has said it will stop using plastic bags to deliver online groceries following a successful trial last year, saving nearly 2,000 tons of plastic every year.
Recent figures show the number of single-use plastic bags distributed by the big supermarkets in England has fallen more than 95 percent since the 5p charge was introduced by the Government in 2015.
Data from the Environment Department shows main retailers sold 226 million single-use bags in the past financial year, 322 million fewer than in 2018-2019.
Some 7.6 billion bags a year were handed out by the leading supermarkets before the 5p charge.