// M&S announces glitter-free Christmas range in latest initiative to reduce plastic waste
// It will apply to greeting cards, wrapping paper, tags, gift bags, calendars and crackers
// Designs which previously featured glitter are now widely recyclable
Marks & Spencer has said it has removed glitter from its entire Christmas celebration range this year, in a bid to improve recyclability and reduce the impact of microplastics on the environment.
The move will apply to all of the bellwether retailer’s greeting cards, wrapping paper, tags, gift bags, calendars, crackers, flowers and plants for the festive season.
It said that all designs which previously featured glitter are now widely recyclable and have been replaced with innovative paper patterns or minimal foils to maintain the festive sparkle.
The move represents the first step towards M&S’s commitment of ensuring its entire year-round range of cards and gift-wrapping products will be 100 per cent glitter-free by the end of 2020.
However, M&S is not the first retailer to roll out a glitter-free range of stock amid the wider retail industry’s war on plastic.
Last December, Waitrose pledged to ban plastic glitter found in its range of Christmas products by 2020 in response to growing pressure for grocery retailers to do more to combat plastic waste.
Similar to M&S, Waitrose said it would use plastic-free biodegradable alternatives to create the same sparkle.
M&S said its the first phase of its initiative would be complete by this Christmas, with its food stores stocking a glitter-free gifting range of flowers and plants, as well as single-use packaging for food products.
“We know reducing single-use plastics is as important to our customers as it is to our business, so removing glitter from our cards and wrap range will make it easier for them to celebrate Christmas in a more sustainable way,” M&S food technology director Paul Willgoss said.
“This is a step in the right direction as we continue working on our plans to completely remove glitter from the range next year.”
To further encourage customers to recycle more, M&S has added back-of-product recycling instructions to its Christmas wrapping paper rolls with helpful tips, for example removing tape and any add-ons such as bows.
Meanwhile, the retailer said the majority of its boxed cards have also transitioned from plastic to card packaging, saving almost 50 tonnes of plastic alone.
As part of its plastic reduction plan, M&S has already removed 1000 tonnes of plastic packaging from across its business and is working to ensure all its packaging is widely recyclable by 2022.