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Lush and M&S latest to ditch packaging

M&S has begun selling 90 of its fruit and vegetable lines without plastic packaging, whilst Lush has opened its first packaging-free store in the UK.

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M&S trials packaging-free veg in its Tolworth store

Continuing its commitment to reducing the amount of plastic used, M&S is trialling plastic-free packaging in its Tolworth store. By introducing trained greengrocers, the move aims to make it easier for customers to pick and weigh their fresh produce.

Louise Nicholls, head of food sustainability at M&S, says: “We’re proud to launch a series of market-leading initiatives to help our customers take home less plastic. We know our customers want to play their part in cutting out plastic, while as a business our goal is to become zero-waste by 2025. That’s why we’re working hard to reduce the amount of plastic packaging we use without compromising on food quality and contributing to waste.

Lush’s “naked” store in Milan

“Our trial at Tolworth is an important milestone in our plastic reduction journey and bringing back the traditional greengrocer will play a key part in educating our customers. Our plan is to create long-term impact in the future using tangible insights from the Tolworth store trial.”

Meanwhile, in the world of cosmetics, Lush has opened its first UK packaging-free store in Manchester, following successful trial stores in Berlin and Milan. The “naked” shop stocks a new line of skincare products which are sold with zero packaging.

Lush co-founder Mark Constantine says: “Packaging is rubbish and for too long we have had to suffer excessive amounts of it. Now that the true financial and environmental costs are becoming obvious, customers are challenging manufacturers and retailers to cut the wrap.”

Instead of scanning labels for information, customers can shop the products via the app, replacing packaging with a digital solution. The naked products currently make up almost half of Lush’s core range of cosmetics.

Packaging is rubbish and for too long we have had to suffer excessive amounts of it

Product inventor at Lush, Alessandro Commisso, comments: “When we look at the plastic waste produced by the global cosmetics industry, we know it is a problem, and we know that raising awareness is really important. But we can’t talk about ditching packaging until we have a solution - an alternative that is effective, good for skin, and good for the environment.”

Could this spell the end of packaging for fresh produce and cosmetics? With many brands and businesses already looking to recyclable paper alternatives for their packaging, the future is unclear. What is clear, however, is that consumers are having an influence on business decisions, especially when it comes to the environment.

If you have a news story, email summer@linkpublishing.co.uk or follow us on Twitter to have your say.

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