M&S and Waitrose: latest plastic-reducing initiatives

Date : 29 January 2019

The retailers take different, innovative approaches to long-term reduction of plastic waste.

M&S supporting circular economy with plastic take-back initiative

New recycling bins in store will allow shoppers to return plastic packaging which they can't recycle at home. This includes items such as black ready meal trays and cosmetics containers. Packaging collected will be used to create store fittings, furniture and playground equipment.

Initially eight stores will trial the new bins, with plans to roll out across the estate by the end of 2019.

M&S will also introduce collection points in primary schools across the country, in collaboration with waste education social enterprise Wastebusters.

Senior Packaging Technologist at M&S Laura Fernandez commented "We're on a mission to provide greater awareness of landfill avoidance and plastic recyclability, while ultimately helping our customers to give plastic a new purpose and support a truly circular economy"

Waitrose launches £1m Plan Plastic fund

Waitrose & Partners has come together with environmental charity Hubbub to launch this new initiative. Over one year the fund will provide grants totalling £1m with money generated from the sale of 5p carrier bags. By March 2019, Waitrose has committed to removing all 5p plastic bags from its stores.

The fund is open to a wide range of applicants, including charities, schools and colleges and social enterprises. Their submissions will be reviewed by an expert panel, with winners announced in May 2019.

Project areas of interest include:

  • Plastics in the community
  • Education
  • Public behaviour change
  • Food, agriculture and farming
  • Micro-plastics

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder of Hubbub said "Waitrose’s new grant fund is tremendously exciting as it will support innovative thinking on how to combat the issue of plastic pollution. We’ll be on the lookout for entries that really demonstrate a tangible impact and that will have a longer-term legacy beyond the grant funding stage".