M&S cuts down on plastic with launch of new recyclable rice packaging

M&S is rolling out new recyclable packaging across its rice, grains and pulses range as part of its plan for 100% of food packaging to be easily recyclable by 2025.

The upmarket retailer is committed to transforming how it makes and sells its products, as the new designs are estimated to remove a combined 5.5 million units of plastic and contain 90% less plastic by weight.

As the first own-brand supermarket to launch paper-based packaging for its own-brand products, M&S is introducing two new designs – a paper-based bag and paper box.

Over 30 products, including bestsellers Basmati rice, Couscous and Red Lentils, are now available in the paper-based bag.

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Meanwhile, four products in M&S’ Collection range – Thai Hom Mali Jasmine Rice, Aged Basmati Rice, Spanish Bomba Paella Rice and Italian Carnaroli Risotto Rice – are now fully plastic-free in paper boxes and feature a measuring lid.

Last year, M&S introduced new recyclable packaging for its tomatoes, that removed over 8 million units of plastic.

The retailer has also pledged that 100% of its food packaging will be widely recyclable by 2025, as part of its Plan A sustainability roadmap. Alongside this, M&S has committed to removing 1 billion units of plastic from its food packaging by 2027.

Customers are now able to recycle both of the new packaging types in their paper recycling bin at home, as opposed to returning to store as they had to do previously.

M&S’ latest Family Matters Index revealed 63% of UK families are concerned about the environment, while seven in ten UK adults say they are making more of an effort to live sustainably themselves due to the rising cost of living.

“We need to transform how we make, move and sell our products to make sure M&S Food is as sustainable as possible,” technical director at M&S Food, Andrew Clappen said.

“Tackling packaging is a huge part of that – we need to get creative in finding alternatives that our customers can easily recycle, that reduce plastic and that protect the all-important M&S quality.”

He added: “We’re determined to do just that and reach our Plan A recyclability and plastic reduction targets. Our customers can be confident that, as we deliver on unbeatable quality and great value, sustainability is top of our list too – as it is theirs.”



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