Tesco Criticized for Deducting £3.4M From Plastic Bag Tax Charity Donations
Millions of pounds in administration costs were deducted from the charitable donations made by Tesco using funds generated from the plastic bag tax, government data has revealed. No other major supermarket made any such deductions, leading senior MPs to urge Tesco to follow their lead.
The 5p charge for plastic bags was introduced in England in October 2015 and has led to an 83 percent reduction in their use, equivalent to 9 billion fewer bags. It is also credited with a drop by nearly half in plastic bags found littering beaches.
The government is clear that it expects shops to donate the proceeds of the 5p plastic bag tax to good causes. The latest official statistics, covering the year to March 2017, show that Tesco sold 637 million carrier bags, raising £31.9 million in proceeds. But the supermarket giant deducted £3.4 million to cover the “cost of administering donations”, equivalent to more than 10 percent of the total.