M&S switches to paper bags across all UK stores

Marks and Spencer (M&S) has announced the roll-out of paper bags across all its UK stores.

M&S said that 70 per cent of its customers now choose to “bring their own bags or don’t use one at all” when they shop in its stores so they felt it was the “right time” to make the change.

Of its new paper carrier bags, M&S said they have “all the benefits of plastic bags but without the same environmental impact”.

It added that the paper bags are “super strong” and capable of carrying over 15 kilograms.

The paper bags have also been independently tested to withstand over 100 reuses, with easy foldability into a backpack.

In weighing its options to transition to paper bags, M&S said it enlisted the University of Sheffield to undertake a “cradle to grave assessment” of its bags to determine whether plastic or paper was better.

M&S said the university told them that if they were going to move to paper bags, they needed to address several factors: that the paper bags be responsibly sourced; produced with renewable energy; and capable of being used multiple times.

M&S also said it intends turn previous plastic collected in its stores into household bin bags.

Sainsbury’s recently changed the packaging on its beef mince in a similar effort to reduce its plastic use.

However, the new vacuum-sealed packaging, which uses 55 per cent less plastic, has not been appreciated by all, with some customers claiming the new packaging gave beef “no mince texture at all”.

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