Marks & Spencer has become the first retailer to donate non-food surplus to charity amid a new redistribution scheme.
In a new partnership with “giving platform” Neighbourly, M&S has announced it will start to donate non-food items like cleaning products, toiletries and kitchenware to charity.
This comes as Neighbourly launched an extension of its food redistribution programme, which M&S joined in 2015, and Lidl joined in 2016.
“In addition to our regular surplus food donations, the donation of non-food items forms part of our overall Plan A 2025 aim to become a zero-waste business by 2025,” M&S head of responsible sourcing Louise Nicholls said.
“Being able to maximise the reuse of non-food products is not only good for our business, but it is also good for the environment and for local communities by enabling them to focus their funds on their core activities.”
The scheme connects local charities with retailers and has redistributed over 1500 tonnes of food since its inception in 2015, the equivalent of 95,000 meals.
The charities involved include food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and schools.