The U.K. supermarket giant told BusinessGreen that it no longer uses oxo-biodegradable additives (OBD) in its bags. A study backed by the country’s Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs suggested such bags could actually harm the environment.
Tesco’s replacement bags are not biodegradable, but do contain 15 percent recycled material, BusinessGreen said.
Rival supermaket chain the Co-operative stopped using OBD in its bags after the study came out, the website said, but Tesco continued to use the additives. Tesco handed out over two billion of the bags to customers last year.
A Tesco spokeswoman said the company stopped using the bags in February.
“We took the decision to remove the biodegradable additive because we believed it contributed towards them becoming weaker… and to help better promote their reuse and recycling at end of life,” the spokeswoman said.
“This decision was underpinned by a detailed review of the science, using external experts to help us understand the full life-cycle environmental impacts of our carrier bags.”