In the News: Our Look at the Top Recycling Stories Making the Headlines
John Lewis has launched a raft of initiatives aimed at helping customers reuse and recycle things that aren’t currently accepted in many kerbside recycling schemes.
The initiatives are being launched at the retailer’s Oxford Store, and they include the introduction of reusable packaging for ‘Click and Collect’ orders, a recycling scheme for unwanted clothes hangers from any brand, and replacing the bubble wrap used for fragile items with a recyclable alternative.
Alongside these new offerings, there’s also ‘BeautyCycle’, which encourages customers to return used packaging from beauty products. Any customers who have signed up to the ‘My John Lewis’ loyalty programme will be given £5 off their next beauty buy in return for bringing in five pieces of packaging. BeautyCycle will be available at another 36 John Lewis stores.
Like many retailers, John Lewis is also cracking down on the use of disposable carrier bags and excess packaging. All 5p carrier bags are set to be removed from its Oxford store and Click and Collect customers will have the chance to remove and recycle packaging from their goods when they come to pick them up.
The final measure the company is introducing is an ‘eco-delivery’ option for home deliveries. Customers will be able to book delivery slots when a van will be close to their home, so this will reduce the amount of miles the delivery fleet has to travel. This means less fuel is used and less emissions are given off.
The head of sustainability at John Lewis said that customers have told the retailer that they want to reduce their impact on the planet, and that reducing and recycling packaging is very important for them. He added that the message is that it wants customers to take away products they love and reduce and reuse the packaging that they aren’t so crazy about.
John Lewis will be trialling the initiatives for 12 months, then using customer feedback to decide whether to roll them out to other stores.
The initiatives are part of a wider strategy for John Lewis as it aims to make all of its own-brand product packaging either reusable or widely recyclable by 2023.
Getting into the Christmas spirit, sustainably
Christmas is a time of excess when we all create a bit more waste than we would probably like. But, from next year, if you buy your Christmas crackers from John Lewis or Waitrose, you’ll notice that the plastic toys have been replaced with recyclable metal and paper gifts. There’ll be no hard to recycle glitter on items either, they’ll be decorated using embossing or ink.
John Lewis & Partners has also just launched a range of “fill your own” crackers, where customers add their own choice of gifts at home, which you can imagine are very popular (especially if you’re fed up of plastic spinning tops and terrible jokes!)
Waitrose has pledged to phase out plastic-based glitter from it’s own range of cards, wrapping paper, gift tags, flowers, and plants by Christmas next year, and John Lewis has followed suit. Glitter makes items practically impossible to recycle.
As a first step, John Lewis has reduced the glitter in its own brand offerings for 2019 by two-thirds and said it is working with suppliers to reduce this even further.
Reducing packaging on your essentials
Speaking of Waitrose, it released data this week on the impact of its ‘Unpacked’ scheme which it launched at one of its stores in Oxford. The retailer introduced a raft of packaging-free, refillable products to make it easier for customers to reduce waste and shop sustainably.
The figures revealed that almost 51% of shoppers brought their own refillable containers to the store on their last visit, and most other customers bought refillable containers. Less than 10% of customers chose pre-packaged items only.
The scheme was launched at the Oxford store back in June, and it saw over 200 products removed from their packaging, including fruit, vegetables, grains, beer, and wine.
The knock-on effect of the scheme has seen customers switching to buying meat and fish products without single-use packaging, and it’s happening nationwide.
Waitrose say its sustainably sourced and produced meat and fish lines are becoming the most popular ranges and are growing year on year.
Customers can bring their own containers to Waitrose stores when they want to purchase something from the meat or fish counter.
The ‘Unpacked’ scheme is now being rolled out to more Waitrose stores. Watch out for it in a town or city near you!