Marks & Spencer is set to swap plastic bags for paper ones across all their UK stores.
The upmarket retailer began to trial paper bags at ten of its shops in January, and will now roll it out to its more than 1,000 shops UK wide.
M&S worked with University of Sheffield to develop the bags using renewable energy in order to make it even more green as paper bags are more energy intensive to make than plastic.
Paper bags also weigh more than plastic, which means transportation requires more energy, further adding to the carbon footprint.
Marks & Spencer is set to swap plastic bags for paper ones across all their UK stores
The chain was the first to introduce carrier bag charging back in 2008 – and says its shoppers top priority is to reduce single use plastic.
Marks & Spencer corporate affairs director, Victoria McKenzie-Gould, said that she hoped it would stop people from building up a ‘mountain of plastic bags’ at home.
In a blog post, she wrote: ‘For the vast majority who already reuse their own bags, which remains the most sustainable option, not a lot will change
‘But on the odd occasion when we all need to reach for one more bag, we’re pleased to be offering a more sustainable option for customers.’
Marks and Spencer added that the water resistant bags can be used more than 100 times and can be ‘easily folded’ into a backpack and can be recycled.
It comes as Marks & Spencer has urged ministers to axe VAT on period underwear, following on from the abolition of the so-called ‘tampon tax’ two years ago.
Scrapping the 20 per cent rate on the items would help households struggling against a painful cost of living crisis, the retailer said.
It has penned an open letter to the Treasury alongside more than 50 signatories, from cross-party politicians to charities including the Football Association.
M&S worked with University of Sheffield to develop the bags using renewable energy in order to make it even more green as paper bags are more energy intensive to make than plastic
‘Period pants’ look like regular underwear but use an absorbent material that soaks up discharges. They are better for the environment and kinder on the wallet than single-use products such as tampons.
Although a ‘tampon tax’ on period products was removed in 2021, menstrual underwear did not benefit from the change because it is classified as clothing.
This means that ‘anyone who wants to use a more sustainable product when they are on their period pays a premium for doing so,’ the letter claims.