M&S tells public to bring own containers

13th August 2019

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Emma Eldridge

Marks & Spencer will offer a 25p discount to customers that bring their own reusable containers to its UK shops in an effort to reduce single-use packaging.

The scheme will be available at M&S' Market Place counters, which sell food-to-go meals to over 70,000 people every week. The sector is forecast to grow 26.4% by 2024.

The supermarket chain already offers 25p discounts to customers that bring reusable cups for hot drinks, and will sell clip storage containers for £4 to help support the new initiative.

M&S said that it is the first major retailer to offer a reusable container incentive for fresh food-to-go, and that it is hoping to encourage a change in consumer behaviour.

“Our priority is to reduce single-use packaging and ensure any we do use can be reused or recycled as we work towards our 2022 target for all our packaging to be widely recyclable, said Paul Willgoss, director of food technology at M&S.

“Our Market Place containers are already widely recyclable, but we want to go a step further with the introduction of an incentive to encourage customers to switch to reusable containers.“

As part of its plastic reduction plan, M&S has already removed 1,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from across its business and is working to ensure all its packaging is widely recyclable by 2022.

It recently launched a new, widely recyclable terracotta CPET tray to replace black plastic, starting in its Italian ready meals range, and has pledged to completely remove all black plastic from its food business by the end of 2020.

“It is massively encouraging to see M&S become the first major retailer to offer customers a financial saving encouraging them to make an important change to their shopping habits, said Trewin Restorick, CEO at environmental charity, Hubbub.

People are rightly concerned about the environmental impact of single-use packaging. We hope customers will respond positively and other retailers will follow this lead.“

Image credit: Shutterstock

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