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John Lewis launches initiatives to ‘reduce, reuse and return’ packaging

By Huw Hughes

28 Oct 2019


John Lewis & Partners has launched a pilot at its Oxford store to encourage shoppers to reduce, reuse and return packaging.

The pilot, which John Lewis said will potentially save thousands of tonnes of plastic from going to landfill, will focus on eight ways the retailer and its customers can reduce their impact on the planet, and will act as a blueprint to be expanded to other stores.

The Oxford store has removed 5p plastic carrier bags and will instead encourage shoppers to bring their own or buy reusable alternatives, a move that the retailer estimates could save 5 tonnes of plastic.

The Oxford shop will also become the first John Lewis store in the UK to trial a reusable 'Click and Collect' bag made from 100 percent recycled materials. One in four orders will be delivered to the shop in these reusable bags, meaning customers will be handed their orders without any additional packaging.

The retailer is also encouraging shoppers to bring back any hangers they no longer need - from any retailer or brand - to be reused or recycled, while customers booking home deliveries will be offered the chance to help to reduce carbon emissions by selecting an ‘Eco-delivery’ slot when a van is near their home.

Additionally, John Lewis will be rewarding its ‘my John Lewis’ loyalty customers who bring back empty beauty product packaging with gift vouchers. The ‘BeautyCycle’ recycling scheme was tested earlier this year and this week is being permanently introduced to 36 John Lewis stores which have a Beauty Department.

Earlier this month, the British retailer launched its ‘BuyBack’ trial, allowing loyalty members to return preloved John Lewis clothing in return for 3 pounds per item.

Commenting on the new initiatives in a statement, Stephen Cawley, partner and head of sustainability at John Lewis, said: “Our customers have told us they want us to help them reduce their impact on the planet and that reducing and recycling packaging is key for them. Our message that we want customers to take away just the product that they love and reduce and reuse the packaging that they don’t will be clearly communicated throughout the shop. We will listen to customer feedback on this blueprint before deciding what we should introduce to other shops.”

John Lewis has previously announced plans to make all of it own brand product packaging either easily recyclable or reusable by 2023.

Photo courtesy of John Lewis and Partners

John Lewis
John Lewis Partnership