Marks & Spencer to sell loose fruit and vegetables in a drive to cut down on plastic

Marks & Spencer to sell loose fruit and vegetables in a drive to cut down on plastic
Hard fruit and veg, such as potatoes, are among more than 90 different lines which will be sold loose (Photo: Shutterstock)

Marks and Spencer will begin selling loose fruit and vegetables in an effort to cut down on single-use plastic.

Hard fruit and veg, such as potatoes, are among more than 90 different lines which are to be trialled at the Tolworth Store in South West London.

The trial will also see greengrocers in store advising customers on how best to preserve fresh produce.

Soft fruits and berries will be sold in compostable punnets.

Best before date labels have also been removed as part of the experiment, ahead of a wider rollout.

Phasing out plastic

The supermarket chain says its approach will save 580 tonnes of waste over the course of two years, and it has also pledged to replace plastic produce bags with paper ones.

The Polish Potatoes Order of 2004 states it is a legal offence to bring Polish potatoes into England (Photo: Shutterstock)
Hard fruit and vegetables, such as potatoes, will be sold loose (Photo: Shutterstock)

Plastic barcode stickers will also be removed from all of its stores.

Marks and Spencer has already phased out 75 million pieces of plastic cutlery in its stores each year, as well as replacing two million straws with paper ones.

Following suit

The move to cut down on plastic comes after M&S attracted criticism last year for selling plastic-wrapped slices of cauliflower, labelled as cauliflower ‘steak’, for £2 each.

But the drive to reduce plastic use is a move a number of the UK’s major supermarkets are committing to.

Last year, Morrisons re-introduced brown paper bags for loose fruit and veg, helping to cut down on 150 million small plastic bags from being used each year.

Iceland also carried out a trial to see if its shoppers would pay 10p for a paper bag, as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to single-use plastic ones.