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Marks & Spencer To Charge For Plastic Bags

ms21.jpgMarks & Spencer is rolling out a 5p charge for plastic bags in its UK stores from the beginning of May to encourage customers to reduce the number of bags they use and to raise money for environmental projects.The move follows a trial period of charging for 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 percent and raised over £80,000 for Groundwork, the charity that receives all profits raised from the charge.

Groundwork uses the money 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 initiative is part of M&S’s Plan A initiative. Here’s an update on M&S’s progress on all of its environmental initiatives.

“This move lies at the heart of our 100-point eco plan, Plan A,” said Sir Stuart Rose, chief executive, Marks & Spencer. “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. Just imagine if M&S customers right across the UK cut the number of food bags they use by 70 percent – that’s over 280 million bags they’d be saving every year.”

Over the month of April, M&S will give shoppers at it stores a free M&S Bag for Life (usual cost 10p) with every food transaction.

Whole Foods is ending its use of plastic carrier bags. IKEA US no longer offers customers free plastic bags.

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2 thoughts on “Marks & Spencer To Charge For Plastic Bags

  1. Once again M&S leads the way. This is a great way to incentive-ize the M&S customer or any other customer to ‘bring their own bag’….In 2004 while working for Sams Club, I visited Wal-Mart in Korea, they were also charging for each plastic bag in 2004!!!!
    I thought at that time, what a great idea that would be for Wal-Mart USA, since then Wal-Mart USA has made progress and they now offer a reusable bag that you can purchase for $1.
    Perhaps Wal-Mart should think of charging for each bag?
    I understand that the economy is tight(to say the least) and that Wal-Mart might not want to ‘burden’ the consumer with another few cents per shopping trip, which is understandable given their commitment to saving consumers money.

    They might try a ‘test market’ to gauge the interest of the consumer–I bet they ‘save’ money on bags–$millions$–not to mention the environmental savings on productions PLUS transport of all those bags– and customers will either purchase the $1 bag and or bring their own.
    Either way, they will find out if it works for their model.

    Sustainability is indeed a journey………

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