M&S expands its ‘Refilled’ scheme

Marks & Spencer has announced it is expanding its popular ‘Refilled’ scheme, in partnership with Reposit, on own-brand cleaning and laundry products, as part of its commitment to reduce and remove plastic packaging, and offer customers more sustainable choices.

Following a successful trial in six stores last year, the scheme will roll out in a further 19 M&S stores across the UK including Liverpool One, which opened at the end of last year – bringing the total number to 25.

M&S ‘Refilled’ allows customers to choose from 10 pre-filled, own-brand homecare products, including cleaning sprays, laundry detergents, fabric conditioners and washing up liquids. The initial purchase includes a £2 cost for the returnable bottle, which can be returned to store after use. Upon return, customers receive a £2 voucher which can be redeemed against a second purchase in the M&S Refilled range.

To date over 10,000 M&S customers have engaged with the scheme – with the most popular product being the Citrus Washing Up Liquid. The expansion into more stores across the UK is expected to remove an estimated 150,000 pieces of plastic, supporting M&S’ Plan A target to remove 1 billion units of plastic packaging by 2027, on their roadmap to net zero by 2040.

Last month M&S met their target to remove 75 million units in 2023/24, four months earlier than planned. At the end of last year, M&S became the first national retailer to launch coffee cups which are 100% recyclable in the paper waste stream and also switched from plastic to paper bags in Food and Clothing & Home.

Lucinda Langton, Head of Sustainability at M&S Food commented: “At M&S, we want to support our customers live more sustainably. We know they care deeply about us reducing plastic packaging and are continuing to look for ways they can make small changes in their everyday lives. Our Refilled scheme has proven hugely popular – showing there is high demand for refillable and great value options – so we’re delighted to be able to introduce this into even more of our stores across the UK this month.”

Stuart Chidley, Co-Founder at Reposit: “Reposit are delighted to have worked closely with M&S to build a scalable standardised returnable packaging solution that works for business and customers. This scale up is the result of strong customer engagement which we hope will result in more action across the retail industry to offer customers a convenient alternative to single-use packaging.”

Jane Martin, Head of Development at City to Sea, commented: “Our consumer research shows that customers are ready to shop more sustainably but a major blocker is being able to access alternatives to single use on the high-street. By taking part in this cross-industry collaboration, M&S are leading the way to unlocking the circular economy.”

M&S, in partnership with Reposit, Ecover and City to Sea, are part of a project to demonstrate returnable packaging systems at scale. The project is supported by UK Research & Innovation’s (UKRI) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Fund.

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