Marks & Spencer is about to introduce a huge change in stores

marks spencer reduce plastic scheme food containers
(Image credit: LightRocket via Getty Images)

Marks & Spencer is introducing a huge change to stores.

The high-street retailer is introducing a scheme where customers can bring their own food containers to the store’s fresh food counters in an attempt to reduce packaging waste.

The scheme was launched earlier this week at the store’s fresh food-to-go Market Place counters and encourages shoppers to reduce the amount of single-use packaging being use by offering customers 25p off every meal if they do bring their own food containers.

Read more:These are the everyday plastic items that will be banned in the UK by 2020

‘Our priority is to reduce single-use packaging and ensure any we do use can be reused or recycled, as we work towards our 2022 target for all our packaging to be widely recyclable,’ said Paul Willgoss, director of food technology at Marks & Spencer.

‘Our Market Place containers are already widely recyclable, but we want to go a step further with the introduction of an incentive to encourage customers to switch to reusable containers.’

Although the majority of the store’s packaging at Market Place counters is already recyclable, the new scheme is trying to encourage reuse rather than recycle.

marks spencer reduce plastic scheme food containers

Because of this, they already offer 25p off hot drinks purchased in store if customers bring their own reusable cups.

Earlier this year, the company announced plans to make all of its packaging ‘widely recyclable’ by 2022.

The store has also introduced recycling bins, where customers can drop off plastics including crisps packets and sauce sachets.

Read more:Intercontinental Hotel Group to remove mini toiletries from all hotels, including Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn

Environmental charity Hubbub has praised Marks & Spencer over their eco-friendly move, with CEO and founder of the organisation Trewin Restorick saying: ‘People are rightly concerned about the environmental impact of single-use packaging.

‘It is massively encouraging to see M&S become the first major retailer to offer customers a financial saving encouraging them to make an important change to their shopping habits.

‘We hope customers will respond positively and other retailers will follow this lead.’

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a Rioja- and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she stalked the royals via breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.

Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a good slathering of SPF and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines. Being a product specialist on a brand for bold women (and living the single life) means that Aleesha also knows a thing or two about the must-buy sex toys, so she relishes in unleashing her inner Carrie Bradshaw on our sex & relationships pages.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group.

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.

Twitter: @aleeshabadkar

LinkedIn: aleesha-badkar