Leading supermarkets are close to reaching their targets on halving the use of plastic carrier bags given out to customers.
The 49% reduction achieved by Asda, the Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's, Somerfield, Tesco and Waitrose has been hailed as "fantastic news" by the Scottish Government.
The number of bags issued to customers was down by almost 39 million in May this year compared with May 2006. Across the UK, the figure fell from 870 million to 418 million.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "This is fantastic news and another major step towards a zero waste Scotland.
"I'd like to thank every member of the public and all the retailers and their staff who helped us achieve this remarkable cut in carrier bag use."
The reduction of 49.4% in Scotland is marginally higher than the rest of the UK.
The Scottish Government agreed a voluntary target of a 50% reduction by May 2009. The target was subsequently adopted across the rest of the UK.
"This is a spectacular achievement," said British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson.
"Changing customer habits on this scale, this quickly, isn't easy."