Luxury department store retailer Harrods is to change its green carrier bags for the first time in 50 years – they will soon all be made from fully recyclable paper rather than plastic.
From early next month, Harrods will remove all plastic green carrier bags from across its stores replacing them with recyclable paper alternatives as part of an eco-focused business move.
The new green carrier bags will be made from sustainably sourced paper, made from 40% recycled materials, the retailer said.
Harrods is also looking to reduce the number of bags distributed to customers in general, aiming to cut its consumption of carrier bags by 50% from pre-pandemic levels. The retailer said it will do this in several different ways, including setting targets for staff, and removing all carrier bags from the Harrods Food Hall and other departments.
Shoppers will be invited to purchase a jute reusable bag where appropriate.
Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods, said: “Updating our iconic carrier bag is long overdue.
“But switching from one material to another is meaningless if you are not making a drastic reduction in waste, particularly for a business with over four million bags leaving the shop floor every year.”
He added: “We are determined to overhaul the way bags are handed out across the store and are challenging customers to join us in reducing waste by using as few bags as possible. As proud as we are to see customers leaving our store with the iconic Harrods green bag, going forward we want to see as few of them as possible.”
Harrods recently made the decision to remove all plastic packaging from its outbound distribution, meaning its customers now have items delivered in entirely plastic-free packaging.
The company has also pledged to remove 100% of single use virgin plastic packaging from across its operations, eliminate “problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging”, reduce the overall amount of distribution packaging used, and ensure all Harrods packaging is 100% reusable or recyclable and contains a minimum of 40–100% recycled content.
Read more about plastic carrier bag reduction on Green Retail World
[Image credit: ©Joel Knight for Harrods]