In 2008, M&S were one of the first major retailers in the UK to introduce a voluntary 5p charge on food hall carrier bags. This was three years ahead of the law being changed and it worked really well, M&S reduced the use of single use bags by over 70% and M&S bags are now made from 100% recycled material.
M&S customers can buy a 10p Bag for Life, also made from 100% recycled materials. M&S will replace these free of charge when they wear out and recycle customers’ old bags.
As well as all this, M&S do not allow their bags to be made from oxodegradable materials - these are materials (usually plastics) containing a chemical that helps the plastic to break down over time when it’s exposed to light, heat and moisture. These types of plastics can’t be composted or recycled easily and their long-term impact on the environment is still unknown. This type of bag also encourages people to think that single-use bags can still be used and thrown away without any consequences – which isn’t the case.