Boots to scrap plastic bags in all stores by early 2020

Retail giant Boots has vowed to ditch plastic bags in all its stores by next year, replacing them with paper ones.

The company said 53 stores will lose plastic bags at checkouts from Monday, with all 2,485 sites only offering customers paper bags from early next year.

However, Boots will continue to charge customers for the new unbleached brown bags, despite them not falling under the plastic bag tax.

Managing director Seb James said the decision means 900 tonnes of plastic will be removed from his stores as a result.

He added: “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.

“This year, we are transforming Boots as we celebrate 170 years, and 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.”

Hundreds of companies have already made pledges to cut back the amount of plastic and packaging they use.

Earlier this month, Waitrose unveiled a new “plastic-free” store, McDonald’s is replacing plastic straws with paper ones, and supermarket Iceland has promised to end plastic packaging from own-label products by 2023.

Helen Normoyle, director of marketing at Boots, said: “Our new paper bags have been carefully tested to make sure that, over their entire lifecycle, they are better for the environment, whilst still being a sturdy, practical option for customers who haven’t brought their own bags with them when shopping.”

The recycled brown bags cost 5p, 7p and 10p, depending on size, and the company said all profits will be donated to BBC Children in Need.

Store list:

Nottingham Victoria Centre
Derby Intu Shopping Centre
Sheffield Meadowhall Shopping Centre
Cambridge Petty Cury,
Peterborough Queensgate Centre
Manchester Trafford Centre
London Canary Wharf Canada
Bristol Broadmead
Milton Keynes Crown Walk,
Exeter High Street
Cardiff Queen Street
Oxford Cornmarket Street
Plymouth Drake Circus
Leeds Trinity
Belfast Donegal Place
Edinburgh 101 Princes Street
Aberdeen Bon Accord Centre
Newcastle Eldon Square
London Sedley Place
London Brent Cross Shopping Centre
London Liverpool St Station
Watford The Harlequin
Bromley The Glades Shopping Centre
Kingston Upon Thames Union Street
London Kensington
Southampton Above Bar Street
West Thurrock Lakeside Shopping Centre
Brighton North Street
Jersey St Helier Queen Street
London Piccadilly Circus
Dartford Bluewater Park
London 193 Oxford Street
Liverpool Clayton Square Shopping Centre
Manchester Market Street
Birmingham High Street
Canterbury Whitefriars Shopping Centre
Chelmsford High Chelmer
London White City Shopping Centre
York 43 Coney Street
Bath Southgate Centre
London Stratford City
Dudley Merry Hill Centre
Bristol Cribbs Causeway
Reading Oracle Centre
Lincoln High Street
Gateshead Metro Centre
Salcombe Fore Street
Glasgow Braehead Centre
Glasgow Buchanan Gallery
Liverpool New Mersey Retail Park
Leicester Fosse Park
Glasgow Fort
Covent Garden

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