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Boots To Completely Ban Plastic Bags By 2020

Ben HaywardJune 23rd
2019

Boots has announced it will completely phase out all plastic bags from its stores by 2020, replacing them with brown paper bags.

From today (Monday 24th June), 53 Boots stores will no longer offer plastic bags at checkouts, with the policy being rolled out to all 2,485 outlets by early next year. 

The high street health and beauty chain will charge customers for the new unbleached brown bags (5p, 7p or 10p, depending on size) and will donate all profits to BBC Children in Need.

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Helen Normoyle, the director of marketing at Boots UK, said: “We have seen a significant shift in our customers’ attitudes towards plastics and recycling in recent years.

“Our new 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 brought their own bags with them when shopping.”

The 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.

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According to the Guardian, plastic bag sales at England’s big seven supermarkets have dropped by 86% since the government introduced the 5p plastic bag charge in 2015, with customers buying nearly 300 million fewer bags in 2017-18 compared with the previous year.

Louise Edge, the head of Greenpeace UK’s ocean plastics campaign said: “If our oceans had a doctor, what they would order is a drastic cut in the amount of single-use plastic in circulation. So it’s great to see a major high street brand like Boots listening to public concerns and ditching plastic bags.”

She did however warn that retailers need to make sure they are not simply shifting the problem from ‘our oceans to our forests’ and should encourage shoppers to use their own reusable bags to tackle the 'throwaway culture that’s damaging our world’.

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