British supermarket chain Waitrose has committed to removing bags for all its online deliveries and in-store collections from 27 September.

Waitrose’s decision comes as the supermarket reintroduces its into-home delivery service, which allows delivery drivers to help customers with heavy lifting and unpacking.

In addition, customers can bring their shopping into the home on crates provided to them or ask the driver for help.

This initiative is expected to remove around 40 million plastic bags a year from Waitrose’s operations.

The retailer also plans to remove 10p ‘bags for life’ from all its core stores after extensive research into their use by consumers.

Waitrose executive director James Bailey said: “We’ve long pledged to reduce single-use plastics, so we have a clear obligation to remove our bags for life because they are no longer being reused as originally intended.

“While our new bag is more durable and fully recyclable, it is available as a last resort only and for customers with no other option.

“We do not want anyone to buy our new bags and instead would urge all our customers to bring ones they already have stocked away in cupboards at home as this is the best thing for the environment.”

Waitrose plans to introduce a reusable alternative to the bags, made from recycled materials.

The new bags are said to be twice as durable and completely recyclable. They will be made available for 50p each.

In June, Waitrose pledged to use more Prevented Ocean Plastic (POP) in its own-label packaging as part of its commitments to sustainability.

The retailer aims to reuse plastic packaging that is discarded at high-risk coastal areas before it ends up in the ocean.

POP packaging is produced by Bantam Materials International and supplied to Waitrose by its suppliers, including Sharpak Aylesham, Berry Gardens and M&H Plastics.