Marks & Spencer says it is introducing packaging-free click and collect to more than 200 shops. The fashion to homewares multichannel retailer says it aims to reduce its use of plastic by 10m items a year with the launch of its ‘bring your own bag’ initiative to 251 shops.
The service was previously trialled at 16 M&S shops. When customers placed a click and collect order for those stores, they were reminded to bring their own bag both at checkout and when their order was ready to collect. Over the course of seven months, more than 39k orders were fulfilled in this way, reducing plastic usage by 109k plastic items.
More than 60% of M&S online customers opt for click and collect – more than 15m orders a year – and of those, about 25% – 4m parcels – are picked and packed in their local shops. Over coming month all of those locally packed orders, which are temporarily stored before collection in reusable bags made of recycled materials, will be given to the customers in the relevant shops without a plastic carrier bag. In the longer-term, the ambition is to expand the approach to all click and collect orders.
Stephen Langford, director of M&S.com, says: “Using our stores to fulfil click and collect orders continues to grow and we want to use this as a channel to encourage a behaviour change that helps to reduce single use plastic consumption. During trial phase, we had great feedback from customers as they saw it as a simple action that, collectively, can make a big difference.”
The move is part of M&S’ target of moving 75m units of plastic packaging in its clothing and home business. So far it has removed 60m since 2018 and its future of ecommerce packaging programme is trialling a number of other online order packaging solutions for both home delivery and click and collect at any given time. So far it has moved to paper tape instead of plastic on cardboard boxes, and paperless customer returns on receipts on mobile, which save 205 tonnes of paper a year. The retailer also accepts hard to recycle plastic packaging in-store.
Marks & Spencer is ranked Leading in RXUK Top500 research.