High street giant Boots is to ban plastic bags and replace them with brown paper carriers in major victory in the war on pollution
- Will take 40million plastic bags out of circulation per year, saving 900 tons
- Boots will instead use strong paper bags as standard in 53 stores from this week
- Move will then roll out to all of health giant’s 2,485 outlets by early next year
Boots will stop offering plastic bags at tills in a move to take 40million a year out of circulation and do away with 900 tons of single-use plastic.
Starting today, the health and beauty giant will start the switch to strong, brown paper bags as standard.
The change will be seen in 53 stores this week and then be extended to all the company’s 2,485 outlets by early next year.
Boots will stop offering plastic bags at tills in a move to take 40million a year out of circulation and do away with 900 tons of single-use plastic. Starting today, the health and beauty giant will start the switch to strong, brown paper bag
The move is part of a wider backlash across the high street against throwaway plastic which contributes to pollution, waste and litter.
Plastic carrier bags are not recycled in the UK, which means the vast majority end up in general household waste and are either buried in landfill, taking decades to rot, or are burned for energy.
Boots’ customers can buy a small, medium or large paper carrier bag for 5p, 7p, or 10p and all profits will be donated to the firm’s charity partner BBC Children in Need.
The bags are made in the UK from recycled brown paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and printed with water-based inks so that they can be easily recycled along with other paper waste at home.
They are also unbleached so that less harsh chemicals are used during the manufacturing.
The development is another victory for the Daily Mail, which highlighted the harm and pollution associated with plastic carriers in the ‘Banish the Bags’ campaign.
Pressure for change led to the introduction of the 5p charge on single-use bags, resulting in a dramatic reduction in their use, while raising tens of millions of pounds for good causes.
Boots is the first chain with outlets in every corner of the country to switch to offering only paper bags.
The supermarket Morrisons offers paper carrier bags, alongside plastic, while some small fashion chains, such as Uniqlo, now mainly use paper bags.
Recent research of 6,000 Boots customers found 92 per cent are concerned about the number of plastic bags used in the UK and 94 per cent agree that it is a good idea to move to paper bags.
Helen Normoyle, the chain’s marketing director, said: ‘We have seen a significant shift in our customers’ attitudes towards plastics and recycling in recent years – there’s never been a more important time to show our customers that we’re taking action to reduce our impact.’
Boots currently uses white paper bags made from virgin paper pulp for its pharmacy, opticians and hearing care services.
The development is another victory for the Daily Mail, which highlighted the harm and pollution associated with plastic carriers in the ‘Banish the Bags’ campaign
But the company said it wants to improve their sustainability, which could mean using more recycled content. The war against plastic has been championed by the Daily Mail for years.
Boots chief executive Seb James added: ‘Plastic waste is undoubtedly one of the most important issues around the world today.’
Retailers are battling to outdo each other with eye-catching announcements on how they are cutting back on plastic. For example, many are dropping black plastic trays and returning to the traditional greengrocers’ approach of selling fresh produce loose.