Boots set to ban plastic carrier bags and switch to paper
Boots is set to ban plastic carrier bags by 2020 and will replace them with brown paper bags.
After the switch, which begins on Monday in 53 stores around the UK, the chemist will begin charging 5p, 7p, or 10p for various sizes of the paper bags. All the proceeds will go to BBC Children in Need.
The retailer is also introducing bleached paper dispensing bags for prescriptions.
However, prescriptions assembled at its central pharmacy will still be sent out in plastic packaging, a practice that has been criticised by customers. Boots says these bags need to be durable and the plastic is recyclable.
The switch, which will extend to all 2,485 stores by early next year, will remove 40m plastic bags from use each year, amounting to 900 tonnes of single-use plastic.
Boots managing director, Sebastian James, said: “Plastic waste is undoubtedly one of the most important issues around the world today with TV shows like Blue Planet highlighting the effects of plastic pollution … the move to unbleached paper bags is another pivotal moment in that journey.
“There is no doubt that our customers expect us to act and this change signifies a huge step away from our reliance on plastic.”
Helen Normoyle, director of marketing at Boots UK, said the paper bags "have been carefully tested to make sure that over their entire life cycle they are better for the environment, whilst still being a sturdy, practical option for customers who haven't bought their own bags with them when shopping."
"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," she added.