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M&S Using Water-Saving Packaging to Transport Flowers

Retailer Marks and Spencer is using modified atmosphere packaging, which uses less water, to transport thousands of flowers over Valentine’s Day.

The company, which already uses the special packaging to transport fruits and vegetables, said it will save 10,000 litres of water on Valentine’s Day by using this technology to deliver its £22 bouquets of Fairtrade red roses, reported the Daily Mail.

Finlays Horticulture has used MAP bags to transport flowers to M&S customers since 2011, according to M&S. Once a bag is sealed, oxygen levels in the bag decrease and carbon dioxide levels increase naturally. The change in atmosphere reduces the respiration rate of the flowers, which extends storage time and reduces the need for water, said M&S.

The MAP packaging has been designed to be airtight, which takes up less space and weight in delivery trucks, saving on fuel.

Marks and Spencer has made a number of green commitments in recent years. The company’s 2012 How We Do Business Report, which was released in October, outlines the first five years of progress of its Plan A program. Of the 180 environmental and ethical targets in Plan A, M&S has achieved 138.

Plan A was launched in 2007 with 100 commitments and extended in March 2010 by a further 80. The program, which has already achieved its goal of sending zero waste to landfill, focuses on involving customers and tackling issues such as climate change, waste, raw materials, health and being a fair partner, M&S said.

The company also adopted stricter rules last year on the use of chemicals in its supply chain, including a commitment to end the use of all PFCs by July 2016. The company worked with Greenpeace to develop new chemical commitments and strengthen its Environmental & Chemical Policy, standards that all dyehouses have to meet in order to work with M&S suppliers.

In June, all Marks & Spencer-operated stores, offices, warehouse and delivery fleets in the UK were certified as carbon neutral, a goal reached by significantly cutting emissions and purchasing carbon offsets.

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