Asda store forced to order more baskets after customers pinch them to avoid 5p bag charge

The Cambridge Asda branch where light-fingered customers are helping themselves to the store’s shopping baskets (Google Street View)

An Asda store has been forced to order in extra shopping baskets after customers pilfered so many they were left in short supply.

It’s believed that the shortage is due to the supermarket chain’s decision to phase out single-use 5p carrier bags, with an increasing number of shoppers opting to take the store’s baskets home instead.

With only 30 or 40 left for customers to use, the store in Cambridge has ordered in 100 new green plastic baskets, which are set to arrive at the Beehive Centre branch next week.

A 5p charge on single-use plastic carrier bags was introduced in 2015.

Asda pledged in February to end the sale of these bags by the end of the year, but customers will still be able to buy larger and sturdier bags for life for 9p each.

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An Asda spokesman said: “After listening to our customers and their concerns about plastic, we made the decision to phase out our single-use plastic bags, in all of our stores, by the end of the year.

“We’re trying to do our bit to protect the environment, and would ask that the small number of customers who are taking our baskets home with them use their bags for life instead.”

The other major supermarket chains have adopted a similar anti-plastic approach, with Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons all either phasing out single-use carrier bags or being in the process of doing so.

Tesco and Morrisons are unaware of any basket shortages among their branches, however, and Sainsbury’s are looking into whether there’s an issue.