John Lewis tests ‘reduce, reuse and return’ packaging

John Lewis & Partners has today launched a major pilot at its Oxford shop to encourage a ‘reduce, reuse & return’ culture among customers which could provide a blueprint for other shops.

Stephen Cawley, partner and head of sustainability at John Lewis said: “Our message that we want customers to take away just the product that they love and reduce and reuse the packaging that they don’t will be clearly communicated throughout the shop.”

One instance of the new policy is that the store has removed 5p plastic carrier bags to encourage customers to bring a bag, or buy a reusable one instead.

The Oxford shop will also become the first in the UK to trial a reusable ‘Click and Collect’ bag made from recycled materials. One in four orders will be delivered to the shop in these reuseable bags, meaning customers will be handed their orders without any additional packaging. Partners will offer to keep and recycle the cardboard and single use plastic bags used to transport other ‘Click and Collect’ orders.

In place of bubble wrap the retailer will trial new recyclable wrapping for china and glass products bought in the shop. The retailer will also be encouraging customers to bring back any hangers they no longer need, so they can be reused or recycled.

As well as reducing the amount of packaging it gives out John Lewis Oxford will reward ‘my John Lewis’ customers who bring back empty beauty product packaging and pre-loved clothing with gift vouchers. The beauty product recycling scheme named ‘BeautyCycle’ was tested earlier this year and this week is being permanently introduced to 36 John Lewis shops which have a Beauty Department.

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