Boots switched to brown paper bags on Monday, aiming to remove all plastic bags from stores by 2020.
On Monday 53 Boots stores will stop using plastic bags and begin offering unbleached brown paper bags. These will be rolled out across all of its 2,485 outlets by next year.
The switch is said to eliminate 900 tonnes of single-use plastic each year, converting to 40 million plastic bags.
The decision to stop using single-use plastics was also recently made by McDonalds, which will remove plastic lids from its McFlurry ice cream in all UK restaurants from September, in an attempt to align itself with more environmentally friendly practices.
Single-use plastics are only used once by consumers before being thrown away or recycled, with items such as plastic bags, straws, bottles and food packaging falling under this category.
These disposable plastics are petroleum based and non-biodegradable, harming the natural environment.
Since the government introduced a small 5p fee on plastic bags back in 2015, usage has started to drop.
Alternative products that consumers can buy, such as reusable coffee cups, shopping bags, drinking straws, water bottles and cutlery, have been on the rise. These can be used more than once and, when brought along with users, and can replace single-use plastic products.
“We are changing our plastic bags to 100% recyclable brown paper bags,” the company announced on Twitter.
— Boots (@BootsUK) June 24, 2019
“Plastic waste is undoubtedly one of the most important issues around the world today with TV shows like Blue Planet highlighting the effects of plastic pollution,” Seb James, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Boots UK commented, according to Sky News.
“This year, we are transforming Boots as we celebrate 170 years, and the move to unbleached paper bags is another pivotal moment in that journey,” Seb James continued.
“There is no doubt that our customers expect us to act and this change signifies a huge step away from our reliance on plastic.”