Retailer Marks & Spencer is reducing single-use plastic by replacing its plastic bags with paper carrier bags in all its stores.
In a blog post, M&S director of corporate affairs Victoria McKenzie-Gould said that the move follows the retailer’s ‘Bring Your Own Bag’ initiative to click-and-collect orders in clothing and home, which it adds will remove over 10 million units of plastic annually.
From this week, all M&S will offer Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper bags at checkout, replacing the retailer’s ecoloop plastic ‘bags for life’.
To create the paper carrier bags for use across clothing and home, as well as food, M&S has worked with the University of Sheffield to develop a paper bag that is made using responsibly sourced paper, produced with renewable energy and to be capable of being used multiple times.
The result is a paper bag produced using renewable energy sourced from a single hydro-powered paper mill in Scandinavia, and a bag that it states is water resistant due to natural resin applied in the manufacturing process and has been independently tested to withstand over 100 reuses, with easy foldability into a backpack.
The retailer has also created two sustainable paper bags, a simple one for clothing and home, and a “super strong” version capable of carrying more than 15 kilograms.