Tesco Malaysia selling barcoded 'unforgettable' bags that come with usage-based discounts

British supermarket group Tesco launched its “unforgettable bag” in 11 Tesco stores in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur and the southern state of Johor this week in an effort to shift away from single-use plastic bags and reduce waste. 

The “unforgettable bag” is made from a recyclable plastic that is more durable than conventional plastic bags. The new bags, that come with a unique barcode, will be sold for 0.50 ringgit (USD 0.13) each, and customers will get a free replacement if the bag is torn or damaged. Tesco will offer customers a cash rebate of 0.20 ringgit (USD 0.05) for every bag reused. The Tesco trial - the first of its kind by a major hypermarket in Malaysia - limits the bag discounts to two per transaction. 

The scheme will be extended to all Tesco’s 56 stores in Malaysia from June 1. If a success, the retailer hopes it will be adopted by other Tesco stores across Asia, yet it sees these bags as a starting point towards actually phasing out all plastic bags from Tesco shops in Malaysia.

There's certainly a world to win: every Malaysian on average throws away 300 plastic bags a year, according to the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association. 

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