Ms O'Dowd has been using the same Tesco bag for 36 years
Sue O’Dowd, 65, from Much Wenlock in Shropshire, was given the Tesco 50th anniversary bag in 1981 on a shopping trip to a store in Birmingham.
Amazingly, she’s managed to keep it intact ever since, even through five house moves.
Ms O’Dowd’s daughter Frankie, 36, noticed the bag – and pointed out that it’s as old as she is.
She said: “I said to mum, ‘you do realise this bag is as old as me?’.
She’s managed to keep it intact ever since 1981, even through five house moves
I said to mum, ‘you do realise this bag is as old as me?’
“It’s just a normal plastic bag, but it really has been a bag for life. It really amused me that she kept it all this time.
"It’s always in the background, I suppose, I had just not noticed how old it was until now.”
Astonished Frankie posted a picture of the bag on Tesco’s Facebook page.
An employee responded: “That’s a little piece of history there. I’d keep it. Better still, frame it.”
Ms O’Dowd added that it appeared to be the same material as modern plastic bags
Ms O’Dowd now uses the bag to keep her wool in, and Frankie added that “it comes out every time there’s a new baby in the family. Mum’s great at knitting little jumpers.”
Ms O’Dowd, who works as an architectural historian, got the bag at the Five Ways store in Birmingham, which closed in 2015.
“It was one of the first big Tesco stores,” she said. “I remember getting [the bag] when Frankie was a baby. I just put my spare wool in it and it’s stayed there ever since. Whenever I need a piece I’ll get it out and usually find what I’m after.”
The fact that she’s kept the bag for all these years doesn’t mean she never throws things away, but she says she’ll keep using them as long as they’re in working order. “I don’t think I’m a hoarder, I’d say I’m just careful,” she said.
The golden jubilee bag marked Tesco's 50 years of shopping service
“If something is still good you keep going with it.”
Ms O’Dowd added that it appeared to be the same material as modern plastic bags.
She said: “It’s amazing how pristine it is.
“Maybe it’s slightly better material with it being an anniversary bag. I can’t believe it’s survived so well.”
A Tesco spokesperson did not comment on the material of the bag, but did say that it appeared O’Dowd “really has found her bag for life”.