22/05/2007

M&S to introduce levy on plastic bags

Marks and Spencer has announced shoppers will soon have to pay for plastic bags in its 14 stores across Northern Ireland.

The company, who today announced a 28% rise in annual profits, said local customers would be the first to have to pay five pence for plastic bags during a trial period which will begin in July.

Chief Executive Stuart Rose said Marks and Spencer’s customers would be given a free “bag for life” in the month preceding the trial.

He also said the company was “conscious of the need to get the use of carrier bags down.

“We have said that if that bag for life runs out, we will replace it,” Mr Rose said.

“But once that’s in place, we will then do a trial where we charge 5p per bag and we are determined to do our bit.”

The moves comes as part of M&S’s drive, called “Plan A”, towards ethical trading and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

The scheme, which will last five-years, will see M&S become carbon neutral, stop sending waste to landfill and extend its sustainable sourcing 2012.

It also announced that it will develop “eco-factories” to pioneer methods of sustainable manufacturing.

(JM/SP)

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