The supermarket chain has announced that it is banning bags for life and has already started phasing them out from stores.
The cooperative will be withdrawing the tough plastic bags from sale in all of its 2,600 stores, after warning that the bag has become the new single-use plastic bag.
Bags For Life requires more plastic to produce than single-use racks, which has increased the amount of plastic in circulation.
The supermarket’s phasing-out of bags began on April 30 and it will remove 29.5 million lifetime bags, weighing around 870 tonnes of plastic, from sale each year.
All remaining stock is expected to be sold by the end of this summer.
The cooperative will replace them with 10p compostable media to ensure customers can purchase a sustainable option at low cost.
Fees for single-use plastic bags in England are expected to double from 5p to 10p in May.
Buyers have praised the company for the move and many are keen to see bag changes at other supermarket retailers, Birmingham Mail reports.
Jo Whitfield, Managing Director of Co-op Food, said: “The increased use of Lifetime Bags has led to a surge in the use of plastic.
“With more than 1.5 billion bags sold each year by retailers, this remains a major problem for our industry as many buyers regularly buy so-called lifetime bags to only use them once and this results in a significant increase in the amount of plastic produced. .
“To help fight plastic pollution and the use of unnecessary plastic, we will stop selling Lifetime Bags when current stocks run out.
“We also make sure that all of our members and customers have access to a lower cost option that is more environmentally friendly, as well as more durable bags at a higher price.
“We believe that it should be mandatory for all retailers to report the sales of all their reusable bags, not just single use bags.
“Currently, Co-op is the only major retailer to report all the bags it sells. This policy would make it possible to better understand the impact of the tax and its real effect on purchasing behavior when customers make decisions at the checkouts. “
Other recommendations from the cooperative include the requirement that all single-use transport bags be certified compostable.
They will also introduce a minimum price of 50 pence for reusable bags to create greater perceived value, encouraging customers to reuse them instead of treating them as single use.
Helen Bird, Head of Strategic Engagement at Waste and Resources Body Wrap, said: “All bags, regardless of material, have an impact on the environment.
“The most important thing to reduce this impact is reuse. Just as we all now wear a mask on ourselves, we should do the same with shopping bags.
“Supermarkets have a responsibility to encourage this and we would like to see transparent reporting on all types of shopping bags – whether traditional plastic, compostable plastic or paper.
“There will be times when we forget to bring a bag and in those cases we can always reuse those bags, and at the end of their life we recycle them at supermarket collection points.
“For Co-op buyers, that means they can reuse carry bags and if they have a food waste collection, they can use it as a shopping cart liner.”