M&S announces a new plastic-free produce trial and proposes 17 more store closures as it progresses its transformation strategy.
M&S plastic-free produce aisles trial
M&S has launched over 90 lines of loose fruit and vegetables completely free of plastic packaging across two aisles in a new three month trial at the Tolworth store.
The range includes harder products such as potatoes, as well as soft fruits, which will now be sold in compostable punnets. The retailer has also removed ‘best before’ dates from fresh fruit and vegetables to help prevent food waste. Tolworth shoppers will also be able to get tips and advice from a trained greengrocer in the store.
Louise Nicholls, Head of Food Sustainability, commented on the move, “Our trial at Tolworth is an important milestone in our plastic reduction journey and bringing back the traditional greengrocer will play a key part in educating our customers. Our plan is to create long-term impact in the future using tangible insights from the Tolworth store trial.”
Reducing plastic across the wider estate
This latest development is part of M&S's long-term strategy to become a zero-waste business by 2025.
In tandem with the Tolworth trial, M&S is also launching additional loose produce lines and introducing innovative new packaging solutions. This work includes replacing plastic produce bags with paper ones and phasing out plastic barcode stickers in favour of eco-friendly alternatives.
Latest store closure announcements
M&S has proposed the closure of a further 17 stores, as part of its plan to close 100 stores by 2022.
The stores are: Ashford, Barrow, Bedford, Boston, Buxton, Cwmbran, Deal, Felixstowe, Huddersfield, Hull, Junction One Antrim Outlet, Luton Arndale, Newark, Northwich, Rotherham, Sutton Coldfield and Weston-super-Mare.
In its recent Q3 results the retailer indicated sales transfer rates from closed stores to other parts of the estate were "solid" for both food and clothing & home.
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