Marks & Spencer (M&S) is expanding its packaging-free refillable grocery concept, ‘Fill Your Own’, to eight additional stores.
The move will bring the total number of M&S shops offering the option to 11. It comes as rival grocer Waitrose announced this week it has expanded the number of refillable ranges it offers in its four participating stores, as the supermarket chains continue to find ways to drive down their use of packaging.
The latest M&S locations to feature Fill Your Own include its experimental stores at Lisburn, Stratford City London, Sears Solihull, Gyle, Vangarde Monks and Wolstanton Stoke. By mid-June, Fill Your Own will also be introduced to M&S stores in Aintree and Meadowhall.
Three existing shops – in Manchester, Hedge End and Staines Two Rivers – have provided the service for some time.
Over 60 lines of groceries – including pasta, rice, cereal, nuts, frozen fruit and the latest range of bake-at-home items such as all butter croissants, pain aux chocolat and apricot twists – are available without packaging. The initiative supports M&S’s plan to reduce and reuse plastic and is set to help the retailer avoid over 300,000 units of single-use packaging over the next 12 months.
M&S said over 30% of refillable products are currently outselling their packaged equivalents.
Also, shelf-edge marketing in M&S stores now highlights how the refillable concept offers better value per gram compared to packaged alternatives, as the retailer aims to help push consumers towards greener purchases.
Carmel McQuaid, head of sustainable business at M&S, commented: “Fill Your Own has been hugely popular with our customers since it launched.
“They’ve told us that it’s easy to understand, offers a huge variety of the high-quality, great value M&S products they love and supports with portion control. Importantly, Fill Your Own is helping our customers – and our business – to reduce and reuse plastic and this initiative has the potential to save thousands of units each year.”
She added: “As our customers have navigated this completely new way of shopping, we’ve continued to test, learn and adapt the scheme based on their feedback and now we’re ready to expand it to more locations and introduce new product lines.”
New refillable lines in the pipeline include wasabi peas, dried mango and apple, cashew nuts, and giant wholewheat cous cous – bringing the range to nearly 100 lines in total.
[Image credit: M&S]