M&S tests own-brand refillable cleaning products

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M&S is launching a trial of own-brand refillable cleaning and laundry products, as part of a campaign to reduce and phase out plastic packaging and offer customers ‘more sustainable choices’.

M&S Refillable allows customers to choose from eight pre-filled, own-brand household cleaning products, including cleaning sprays, laundry detergents, fabric conditioners and dishwashing liquids.

The offer, offered in partnership with Re, will initially be available at M&S’s recently opened Stevenage store and at Bluewater, before being rolled out to four additional stores over the summer (Stratford City, Hedge End, Aintree and York Vangarde Retail Park).

Customers will need to pay an initial deposit of £2 for the reusable bottle, with a range of 500ml, 750ml and 1L sizes on offer, which can be returned to store after use. On their return, customers will receive a £2 voucher which can be redeemed for a second purchase from the M&S rechargeable range.

Our home care trial builds on our refillable, packaging-free Fill Your Own concept, and both are important parts of our plastic and packaging reduction strategy.

All returned bottles, made with durable materials to reduce damage and waste, will be cleaned and refilled before returning to store for resale. Bottles of cleaning spray and dishwashing liquid will also include a fully recyclable trigger or spray pump that can be recycled at home or returned to the store.

Customers are already responding well to the trial, with the most popular product (Citrus Dish Soap) nearly matching the sales of its packaged equivalent. If successful, the range will be expanded and introduced to other stores.

M&S Refillable

M&S Rechargeable builds on the retailer’s existing efforts to help customers ‘shop more sustainably’. Launched in December 2019, M&S’ packaging-free Fill Your Own concept is estimated to have eliminated 350,000 units of single-use packaging.

Now available in fourteen stores, customers have a choice of over 60 refillable groceries at a better value per gram than packaged alternatives, with choices for the whole family, including pasta, rice, cereals and nuts.

Lucinda Langton, Head of Sustainability at M&S ​​Food, said: “At M&S, we want to help our customers live more sustainably by transforming the way we sell our products. We know they care deeply about reducing plastic, so we take a test and learn approach to finding innovative solutions.

“Our home care trial builds on our refillable, packaging-free Fill Your Own concept, and both are important parts of our plastic and packaging reduction strategy. Fill Your Own has already been hugely popular – showing that there is strong demand for great value refillable options – and if customers love M&S Refillable just as much, we’ll be rolling it out to more stores.

M&S has pledged to remove 1 billion units of plastic food packaging by 2027 and has removed 75 million units across its food business in the past year.

The retailer recently reset its Plan A sustainability roadmap, with a focus on becoming a fully net-zero company for all of its products and supply chain by 2040.

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