'I can't afford to live as it is': Cost of living campaigner calls for Asda boycott over price of carrier bags

18 November 2022, 20:48

Stephen Evans, claims he paying £1.80 a week on bags and has is refusing to shop in Asda's stores because of the cost.
Stephen Evans, claims he paying £1.80 a week on bags and has is refusing to shop in Asda's stores because of the cost. Picture: Alamy

By Chris Samuel

A campaigner has said supermarket giant Asda should be boycotted over its 30p plastic carrier bag charge, claiming the expense affected his mental health.

Stephen Evans, claims he paying £1.80 a week on bags and has is refusing to shop in Asda's stores because of the cost.

He started his boycott on November 3 after 15 years of shopping there when he worked out how much how much he'd been paying for the bags every year.

Mr Evans, from Ashton-Under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, is unemployed but volunteers for a charity, and is calling for others to boycott the supermarket and the hopes shoppers will 'stand up and listen'.

He has previously teamed up with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to campaign against homelessness and knife crime.

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The 37-year-old argued the expenditure on bags has caused his mental health to suffer amid the cost of living crisis and he and his family are struggling to get by.

Mr Evans said: 'I've been to the doctors, and I got a sick note because I'm just so stressed with it all.

'I said that I've had enough, I can't afford to live as it is.

'I've been signed off for depression now because of this and a few other things going on. But this just made it worse.'

He added that, while squeezed financially, the carrier bags charge is money he can't afford to lose.

'We get about six bags when we do our shopping, and it all adds up at the end of the month.

'If I get a big shop from Asda and have to get a taxi home, that's an added £5. If I'm paying all that for six bags, then it all adds up.

'If you're spending that much money on bags, and you're going every single week, that money could be used to pay gas or electric. I'd rather put it towards electric.'

Sainsbury's and Tesco also charge 30p for bags, while Lidl and Aldi are both cheaper at 20p and 25p respectively, while Morrisons bags are just 10p.

Mr Evans said: 'If we all stop shopping there, they'll have to stand up and listen - or they'll lose their money.

'If Asda want a fight on their hands, they've found the right one to do it with. I'm not quiet when it comes to pushing things.'

Mr Evans explained he has emailed the company to complain about the issue on two occasions, but claims he hasn't received a response.

Taking to Twitter to called the supermarket out for their 'ludicrous' bag prices, Stephen urged struggling families to avoid the shopping there, revealing the 'distress and anxiety' he has experienced to the price.

Mr Evans says the price point will 'definitely impact families. It impacts me, and I'm single. So, for those in a family, it must be twice as tough.

'The company must realise that families use that store. They must realise that with the cost of living going up they should be making it easier.

'I want them to go back the way they used to be. There shouldn't be a cap on how much you can buy [from the Just Essential range], and the bags should go back down to 20p.'

An Asda spokesperson explained that the idea isn't for shoppers to purchase new bags every time they shop.

The bags are intended to be 'bags for life' and the supermarket will replace any bags that break for free.

However, Mr Evans has made it clear he will not go to the supermarket until Asda 'takes notice' and adheres to his demands.

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