Marks & Spencer gears up to introducing a 5p carrier bag charge in all its UK stores from Tuesday 6th May.
The charge is designed to encourage customers to reduce the number of bags they use and to raise money for environmental projects.
All profits generated from the charge will go to environmental charity Groundwork and be used to create or improve ‘greener living spaces’ such as parks, play areas and gardens in neighbourhoods around the UK. It is expected that around 40 neighbourhoods will benefit in the next twelve months.
The unprecedented move follows a successful trial period of charging for food carrier bags in over 50 M&S stores in Northern Ireland and the South West of England. The trial has seen customers’ use of food carrier bags drop by over 70% and raised over £80,000 for Groundwork which is now being invested in six projects across those regions.
Sir Stuart Rose, Chief Executive, Marks & Spencer said: “This move lies at the heart of our 100-point eco plan, Plan A. We want to make it easy for our customers to do their bit to help the environment and our trials have shown us that they want to take action."
The 5p charge will coincide with the introduction of a brand new standard food carrier bag made from 100% post consumer waste in all of its stores – the first bag of its kind to be used by a major UK food retailer nation-wide. This move will reduce the amount of virgin plastic M&S uses by 3,400 tonnes per year.
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