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.

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‘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’ (opens in new tab) by 2022.

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

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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 is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.