Tesco using 5p carrier bag charge to boost community projects

From left, Helen Harber, manager of Tesco at Simonside, and Rebecca Maw, from Groundwork.
From left, Helen Harber, manager of Tesco at Simonside, and Rebecca Maw, from Groundwork.

The new 5p carrier bag charge is set to provide a windfall for community groups in South Tyneside.

The boost is coming from a new partnership between Tesco and charity Groundwork.

That the money raised from it will be used for local environmental projects, with residents directly seeing the benefits, is essential.

Sarah French, business director of Groundwork STAN

The retail giant will use the money raised from selling the bags to pay for environmental improvement projects across the region.

Supermarket bosses want customers to nominate and vote for the schemes they like best, with six benefiting from between £8,000 and £12,000 each.

Administration of funding will be done by the national Groundwork organisation, with its independent South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN) arm taking an active role.

Groundwork was chosen because of its expertise in supporting communities to transform under-used green spaces into safe and thriving zones.

Sarah French, business director of Groundwork STAN, said: “The carrier bag charge is an important development and a sign of this country’s growing responsibility towards the environment.

“That the money raised from it will be used for local environmental projects, with residents directly seeing the benefits, is essential.

“Groundwork STAN will play a significant part in its administration, and we are delighted to be supporting Tesco.

“This initiative is a fantastic way for community groups and organisations to apply for the funding that can make the projects they hold dear become a reality.”

The first funding round is open and will close at noon on Friday, November 27, with two further opportunities open per year for the next three years.

Groundwork will whittle down applicants to a shortlist of three in each region, with Tesco shoppers voting for their favourite in-store over two weekends.

Voluntary and community groups, registered charities, health bodies, parish and town councils, social enterprises, community interest companies, community councils, local authorities and housing groups, can all apply. Some not-for-profit bodies may also be eligible.