Marks & Spencer has stepped up its commitment to reduce its use of plastic packaging with the announcement of a new 'Bring Your Own Bag' (BYOB) – Click & Connect initiative to 15 stores across Ireland.
The initiative removes the need for the traditional plastic carrier across online orders that are picked and packed at the collection store by asking customers to bring their own reusable bag which will save over 280,000 units of plastic annually in Ireland.
According to the retailer, the new initiative sees customers reminded at point of checkout to bring their own bag when coming into store to collect an order placed online.
A further reminder is sent when the customer is notified that their order is ready to collect.
Commenting on the launch of the ‘Bring your own Bag’ scheme, Philip Conlon, head of division, Ireland at Marks & Spencer, said, “More and more people are choosing to use our Click & Collect service, placing their order online and calling into their nearest store to collect their items.
"As this service for customer s grows in demand, we want to use this as a channel to encourage a behaviour change that helps to reduce unnecessary packaging waste.
"During the trial phase for the scheme, we had great feedback from customers as they saw it as a simple action that, collectively, can make a big difference."
The roll-out follows a successful trial at 16 M&S stores across England and Ireland, including M&S Blanchardstown and M&S Galway, the company noted.
Over the course of the seven-month trial, 39,347 orders were fulfilled this way, removing over 109,000 units of plastic and customers praising the approach as ‘simple and straightforward’ and an easy way to help them reduce their own plastic consumption.
More than 31% of customers opt for click & collect – that’s over 290,000 orders annually across Ireland and of those orders - 11% are picked and packed in the customer’s local store, it added.
M&S highlighted that over the coming months, all Click & Collect orders that are picked and packed at the customer’s local collection store will be provided to the customer without a plastic carrier – with the ambition to expand the initiative to all Click & Collect orders in the longer-term.
M&S has a ‘from check in to parcel in hands’ target of one minute for all Click & Collect orders.