M&S to charge 5p per carrier bag in drive to reduce plastic waste
HIGH STREET GIANT Marks & Spencer is set to initiate a 5p charge for its plastic bags, in a move to cut plastic waste in England.
The announcement follows a successful trial by the company in Northern Ireland where a 66% reduction in the number of plastic bags has been achieved.
Plans are afoot to introduce the scheme in hundreds of M&S stores throughout the country and it is thought other retailers will soon follow suit.
It is M&S however who is leading the drive in the UK to dramatically lower our reliance on plastic bags, which are disposed of and take up to 500 years to perish.
Beginning in February in the South-West of England, the new proposal will be moderated by the decision to give away free reusable bags to M&S customers in the weeks leading up to the scheme’s introduction.
M&S chief executive, Stuart Rose, said yesterday: ‘Our initial trial in Northern Ireland has shown us that introducing charging does make customers think twice about the number of bags they use, which is why we are extending our carrier bag charging trial to the South West of England.’
For three weeks in January customers will receive a free M&S Bag for Life every time they buy food. The 5p charge for plastic bags will be introduced on 3 February.