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UK high-street retailer, Boots, has vowed it will replace plastic bags with unbleached brown paper carriers by 2020, and will no longer offer them at checkouts starting from next week.
The health and beauty chain, which recently launched two new vegan meals, will charge customers for having a paper bag (5p – 10p depending on size) and will donate all profits to BBC Children In Need.
A ‘pivotal moment’
According to the Guardian, Boots’ Managing Director, Sebastian James, said: “Plastic waste is undoubtedly one of the most important issues around the world today, with TV shows like Blue Planet highlighting the effects of plastic pollution… 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.”
Environmental organization, Greenpeace, who slammed Boots last year for endangering penguins by selling fish oil supplements, praised the chain for ditching plastic, but encouraged consumers to bring their own reusable bags to store.
‘Shifting the problem’
Louise Edge, Head of Greenpeace UK’s ocean plastics campaign, said: “But retailers need to be careful that by swapping plastic for paper, they don’t end up shifting the problem from our oceans to our forests.
“This is why as well as looking for new materials for their carrier bags, high street chains should also encourage their customers to bring their own reusable bags and truly tackle the throwaway culture that’s damaging our living world.”