Boots is replacing plastic carrier bags with unbleached paper bags in all of its stores across the UK.
From today, 53 Boots stores started using paper bags, with a full roll-out to all 2,485 stores expected to be completed by early 2020. This would result in the removal of over 900 tonnes of plastic each year, claimed the retailer.
Boots UK is the first national pharmacy, health and beauty retailer in the UK to move to unbleached (brown) paper carrier bags as standard. It is also the first national pharmacy chain to move to unbleached paper dispensing bags.
“This year, we are transforming Boots as we celebrate 170 years, and the move to unbleached paper bags is another pivotal moment in that journey. There is no doubt that our customers expect us to act and this change signifies a huge step away from our reliance on plastic,” said Seb James, senior vice-president and managing director, Boots UK.
Last month, many customers expressed their anger online as they received prescriptions from Boots in plastic packaging.
The new bags are made from unbleached, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified recycled brown paper, which is printed with water-based inks so the bags can be easily recycled at home.
The paper bags cost 5p, 7p, or 10p for small, medium or large respectively. Boots said all profits from the bags would be donated to its long-term charity partner BBC Children in Need.