M&S launches new ‘eco bag’ to reduce plastic waste

It aims to encourage UK shoppers to avoid using single-use plastic bags while helping reduce poverty in Haiti and the Philippines

The Big Zero report

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched a new “eco shopping bag” partly made from recycled plastic as part of its efforts to reduce plastic waste.

The 75% plastic waste has been collected and recycled by Plastic Bank, a social enterprise seeking to stop ocean plastic pollution.

The organisation incentivises people in Haiti and the Philippines – two areas said to be “highly polluted” with plastic – to collect waste and take it to one of 36 recycling centres in return for a wage.

Collectors could also exchange waste plastic for blockchain digital tokens that can be used to buy essential goods such as food, water, cook stoves and fuel.

M&S’ move aims to encourage shoppers in the UK to avoid using single-use plastic bags while supporting Plastic Bank’s work in the two nations.

The bag is available to buy at its stores from today and costs £1.30.

Natalie Tate, Product Developer at M&S said: “With more plastic than fish predicted to be in the ocean by 2050, it’s vital that we all take action to minimise plastic waste. We’re reducing the amount of plastic we use as a business and developing smart ways to help our customers reduce the amount of plastic they use.

“This is a strong, sturdy, practical bag to help our customers with their shop but with the added benefit of reducing poverty and preventing more plastic getting into our seas by turning waste plastic into a tangible and reusable item.”

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