Dear Tesco

Dear Tesco,

I have had an idea that could help the environment. You are welcome to have this idea for free should you want it.


Recently you announced that you were going to stop selling single-use 5p plastic bags to encourage people to buy reusable ‘bags for life’. Reported in The Guardian, you claim “ending sales of single-use bags will significantly reduce the number of bags sold and would therefore help to reduce litter and the number of bags sent to landfill”.

This is an admirable sentiment.

In seeing this policy rolled out, I like the cheerful ‘I’m back’ adorned on your new bags, as if the bag itself were announcing its return to a store. But there remains a problem—encouraging your customers to carry their bags with them all the time rather than just buying another one each time they shop.

At the Tesco Express near where I work I witness people shopping for a lunch time meal deal who hadn’t necessarily planned to go to your store when they left for work in the morning. Most don’t appear to carry one of your bags with them as a matter of course, and they either juggle what they’ve bought in their hands on leaving the store, or buy another bag.

The idea that I’m offering to you struck me when being served at this store. I was asked by one of your staff if I had a Clubcard, to which I replied, “no, but I’ve got a bag.” As the words came out of my mouth the thought occurred to me: why not embed the Clubcard in the bag itself rather than on a separate card?

This might go some way to encouraging people to carry their bag with them regularly rather than keep buying more, and they could simply scan them in at the till as they pay. Those that were active re-users would be rewarded, those that weren’t would lose points.

I’ll leave you to work out the finer details. And if you don’t want the idea, let me know as I’d be just as happy to offer it up to the Coop, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons or Lidl.

Yours sincerely,


Recently seen in a Tesco Express store, Ipswich

Published by Nigel Ball

Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design

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