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Plan A progress positive for waste and recycling

All of the targets relating to waste and recycling set out by retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) as part of their Plan A sustainability initiative have either been achieved or are on target, according to a report published today.

The How We Do Business Report details the progress of the Plan A initiative, which was launched in 2007, three years on and demonstrates significant progress has been made by the retailer in relation to waste and recycling.

The key achievements outlined in the report include:

·         A 20% reduction in food (non-glass) packaging

·         417 million fewer carrier bags used in the last year

·         33% less waste sent to landfill year-on-year

·         1.8 million garments recycled through the Oxfam Clothing Exchange

·         A 36% reduction in packaging on general merchandise products

·         84% of PET food plastic packaging made using recycled materials

·         89% of construction waste recycled in 09/10

·         29% less food waste generated in 09/10

·         25% of unsold food treated either by composting or anaerobic digestion (AD)

·         76% of coat hangers re-used with the remainder being recycled back into new hangers.

In waste terms M&S has achieved 14 of its 18 goals set out as part of Plan A, with the remaining four all said to be on track.

Following on from the initial success of Plan A, in March this year M&S launched an expanded version of the initiative, adding further targets to the existing ones. In relation to recycling, these new targets have seen the retailer commit to forming more recycling partnerships with local authorities to help customers reuse and recycle.

M&S director of Plan A, CSR and sustainable business Richard Gillies said: “Now it’s time to move Plan A forward by setting even bolder targets that will involve our customers, employees and suppliers more directly than ever before.”

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