Packaging watch
Published:  02 February, 2007

As part of Marks & Spencer's recently announced £200m, eco-friendly Plan A, it is pledging to reduce the use of packaging by 25%. In addition, packaging will be made from sustainable materials or recycled sources, such as cardboard, glass and plastic.

The plan sets out to restrict the range of packaging materials, including sandwich and bakery packaging, to ones which are easy to recycle or compost, so customers do not have to throw rubbish away. These include using four types of plastic derived from corn starch: PLA, PP, PET and PE.

Other plans include printing symbols on packaging to make it easy for customers to recycle or compost. It will also reduce the use of carrier bags by 33%, all of which are made from recycled plastic.

"We are calling this Plan A because there is no Plan B," said M&S chief executive Stuart Rose (pictured above). "We will become carbon neutral, only using offsetting as a last resort. We will ensure that none of our packaging needs to be thrown away. We will clearly label the food we import by air. Regional and local food sourcing will be a priority and we will trial the use of food waste to power our stores. We will do this without passing on the extra cost to our customers.

"This is a deliberately ambitious and, in some areas, difficult plan. We don't have all the answers but we are determined to work with our suppliers, partners and government to make this happen. Doing anything less is not an option."

Each month, British Baker reports on developments in packaging




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