M and S to charge for plastic bags as industry’s voluntary efforts at reduction are slammed

March 26, 2008 at 2:52 pm

At a time when supermarkets are competing to see whose green credentials are the best, Marks and Spencer have announced that they are to introduce a 5p charge for each plastic bag, in their food stores. The money raised will go to Groundwork, a UK charity committed to improving parks and play facilities for children.

According to Sir Stuart Rose, the chief executive for Marks and Spencer, if their customers were to reduce their use of plastic bags by 70% then 280 million fewer bags would be headed for landfill sites.

The announcement came on the same day as the grocery sector announced disappointing results, under a voluntary agreement to reduce the use of plastic bags. A reduction of only 7% had been achieved despite the fact that the agreed target was 25%. One retailer had even increased usage by 22%.

The Courtauld Commitment started in July 2005. Supported by 30 major retailers, it is currently a voluntary agreement but the Government has announced its willingness to make it compulsory if the grocery sector is unable to achieve results under the current system.

London Councils who are the driving force behind the London Shopping Bags Bill, a move designed to ban the single use of carrier bags, has hailed Marks and Spencer as a “shining light” and an excellent example to other businesses.

Marks and Spencer are confident that their customers want to reduce the environmental impact of their shopping habits and will be prepared to change their ways accordingly.

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3 responses to “M and S to charge for plastic bags as industry’s voluntary efforts at reduction are slammed”

  1. shirley wright says:

    So the dear old plastic bags still wont die, it’s a war between the plastic bags and humanity and we know we will win but no thanks to marks and sparks!!!!!!!!.

  2. weetabexs says:

    I am not paying for plastic bags, I will bring my own.

  3. lucy woodbridge says:

    I agree, I think its about time that they introduce a charge, and hopefully this will encourage people to bring their old ones. I ALWAYS use Reusable bags, they are always much bigger and your guaranteed that they wont wont split!!!

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