Marks & Spencer to trial plastic-free fruit and vegetables range

Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer Tolworth store

Retailer Marks & Spencer has announced that it is launching over 90 lines of loose fruit and vegetables that are completely free of plastic packaging in a trial at its Tolworth store.

To support the trial, it has introduced trained greengrocers, who will be offering customers advice on how to best preserve fresh produce and prevent food waste at home, as M&S has removed ‘best before’ date labels from its fresh fruit and veg, as part of the trial.

The range includes hard fruit and vegetables, and more perishable items, which will be retailed in compostable punnets.

M&S has committed to launching additional lines of loose produce and more sustainable alternatives to plastic in every UK store, which it said could save 580 tonnes of plastic waste over two years.

The plan will involve replacing plastic produce bags with paper ones and phasing out plastic barcode stickers in favour of eco-friendly alternatives.

M&S head of food sustainability Louise Nicholls said: “We’re proud to launch a series of marketleading 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.

“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.”

The three-month trial at Tolworth will be the springboard for the retailer’s long-term plastic reduction plan and will be asking for customer feedback for an effective approach across all stores.

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