Tesco Carrier Bags – where our customers’ money goes

13 Sep 2017

One question people often ask us is: “Where does the money I pay for carrier bags go at Tesco?"

We’re incredibly proud of the way money for Tesco carrier bags goes to help local communities, and we want be clear about the way we run our “Bags of Help” programme.

Each year we raise over £30m from sales of carrier bags at Tesco. We make no profit at all on sales of these bags, and the money goes to fund great causes across the country – everything from restoring scout huts to buying kids’ football kits, training coaches and investing in our green spaces.

Crucially, though, we made a decision when we started the “Bags of Help” programme to give customers the chance to choose where their money goes. After all, it’s customers’ money – so it’s only right customers can decide which local projects to fund.

To do that, we work with a charity called Groundwork. It’s their role to get the money to where it’s most needed – which means assessing and managing thousands of grant applications, then ensuring the funds awarded are properly spent.

To help Groundwork administer the programme, we pay a small proportion of the bag charges to the charity. It adds up to around £2.7m each year. That might sound a lot, but when you consider that every two months we hand out grants of up to £7,000 in each one of our 565 UK regions, it’s vital that we have a recognised charity partner to help manage the UK’s largest carrier bag charity scheme.

Groundwork have a team of over 60 people running the programme and identifying local projects in every corner of the country. We also pay for voting booths and tokens to give our customers the chance to vote on which schemes to fund. All told, it means around 10% of all the money raised from bag charges in over 2,500 stores and online goes towards running the programme. This money gives power to our customers to decide where their money is spent.

Every day, the money we raise from bags is making a huge difference in hundreds of communities. You can find out more about the way we run our Bags of Help projects here.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01707 918 701    
We are a team of over 450,000 colleagues dedicated to serving shoppers a little better every day.