Holland & Barrett (H&B) boss Peter Aldis has called on British retailers to be more environmentally friendly.
In a statement released yesterday, the CEO of H&B’s parent company NBTY Europe said that the government should use tax increases to put pressure on retailers to increase their green credentials.
His comments come after the first plastic bag free year at his firm, which has seen more than 11 million plastic bags saved from use and resulted in 150,000 reusable fabric and paper H&B bags being sold.
Ever since January 1st 2010, plastic bags for customers have been completely banned across all 600 Holland & Barrett stores in the UK as part of the business’s Plan-It-Green environmental strategy.
Aldis commented: “Many retailers introduced half measures such as charging for plastic bags, in a bid to encourage customers to shy away from using them.
“But no-one else stepped up to the mark and banned plastic bags all together. We are proud to be the first to take this step and have proven it can be done.
“It is rare for a retailer to call for more taxes, but I would encourage the government to use tax increases to put pressure on other retailers.”
The Welsh Assembly Government is set to implement a compulsory carrier bag fee in October next year, which will see all retailers in the principality charge customers 5p for a plastic bag.
Last month major retailers and the British Retail Consortium successfully lobbied the Welsh Assembly to reduce this charge from 7p, but the new legislation and pressure from forward-thinking retailers like H&B could set a precedent for the rest of the UK.
Aldis said: “We have made the decision to ban plastic bags from Holland & Barrett stores and shown that it works, but other British retailers need to do more.”