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John Lewis trials plastic bag-free store

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John Lewis says its Oxford shop has become the first department store to stop using plastic bags, as part of a new pilot scheme.

The retailer, ranked Elite in IRUK Top500 research, is removing 5p plastic bags and introducing  new reusable click and collect bags among other measures – and says it will learn from the trial about what might work for its other shops. 

“Our customers have told us they want us to help them reduce their impact on the planet and that reducing and recycling packaging is key for them,” said Stephen Cawley, partner and head of sustainability at John Lewis. “Our message that we want customers to take away just the product that they love and reduce and reuse the packaging that they don’t will be clearly communicated throughout the shop. We will listen to customer feedback on this blueprint before deciding what we should introduce to other shops.”

As well as testing the removal of plastic bags – in a move expected to save 5 tonnes of plastic alone – and the introduction of reusable click and collect bags, made from recycled materials for one in four click and collect deliveries, the retailer is also trialling the removal and recycling of the packaging that items ordered via click and collect items come in. 

Customers placing in-store orders for home delivery can also opt for eco home deliveries – having their item delivered at a time when a van would be near their home. And instead of wrapping china and glass items bought in-store in bubble wrap, the shop will use new recyclable packing. Shoppers can leave or return unwanted hangers from any brand or retailer, while a fashion buyback scheme rewards customers with up to £3 per item when they bring back up to three items from brands stocked by John Lewis. Members of My John Lewis will receive gift vouchers for £5 off their next beauty purchase when they recycle the packaging from up to five used beauty products. This last initiative is also be introduced at the 36 John Lewis stores that have a beauty department.

Image courtesy of John Lewis

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