Climate Action

Boots switches to brown paper bags to cut plastic pollution

Boots has announced a switch to brown paper bags in a bid to cut plastic pollution.

  • 25 June 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

Boots has announced a switch to brown paper bags in a bid to cut plastic pollution.

Boots has become the first national pharmacy, health and beauty retailer in the UK to ban plastic bags in all of its stores and replace them with an unbleached brown paper bag alternative.

The ban will remove 900 tonnes of plastic from Boots stores operations each year, allowing Boots to move to a circular economy model.

Seb James, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director, Boots UK comments, “This year, we are transforming Boots as we celebrate 170 years, and the move to unbleached paper bags is another pivotal moment in that journey. There is no doubt that our customers expect us to act and this change signifies a huge step away from our reliance on plastic.”

The paper bags will be installed in 53 Boots stores across the UK from Monday, by early 2020 they plan to expand this to all 2,485 stores.

The switch comes after recent research found that 92 per cent of Boots customers are concerned about the number of plastic bags used in the UK with 94 per cent agreeing that it a good idea to move to paper bags.

Helen Normoyle, Director of Marketing, Boots UK added: “We have seen a significant shift in our customers’ attitudes towards plastics and recycling in recent years - there’s never been a more important time to show our customers that we’re taking action to reduce our impact.”

The paper bags will be made from unbleached certified recycled brown paper which will be printed on water based inks so the bags can be easily recycled at home.

Customers can purchase a small, medium or large paper carrier bag for 5p, 7p, or 10p. All profits will be donated to Boots long-term charity partner BBC Children in Need to support disadvantaged children across the UK.

Photograph: Boots