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Today, as M&S publishes its Plan A report 2021, the retailer is announcing the extension of its popular packaging-free refillable grocery concept Fill Your Own to eight additional stores – bringing the offering to a total of 11 stores for customers across the country.

The latest stores to feature Fill Your Own include its renewal test and learn format locations at Lisburn, Stratford City London, Sears Solihull, Gyle, Vangarde Monks and Wolstanton Stoke – joining three existing stores in Manchester, Hedge End and Staines Two Rivers. By mid-June, Fill Your Own will also be introduced to M&S stores in Aintree and Meadowhall. 

Fill Your Own, which first launched in December 2019, offers over 60 lines of refillable groceries for the whole family – including pasta, rice, cereal, nuts, frozen fruit and the latest range of bake-at-home items such as all butter croissants, pain aux chocolats and apricot twists. The initiative supports M&S’s plan to reduce and reuse plastic and is set to avoid the use of over 300,000 units of single-use packaging over the next 12 months - with over 30% of products outselling packaged versions. 

As Fill Your Own expands, M&S is continuing to test, learn and adapt the initiative and in response to customer feedback, the retailer is now highlighting that the concept offers better value per gram compared to packaged alternatives – with the same M&S quality customers love - across shelf-edge messaging.  

Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business, commented: “Fill Your Own has been hugely popular with our customers since it launched. They’ve told us that it’s easy to understand, offers a huge variety of the high-quality, great value M&S products they love and supports with portion control. Importantly, Fill Your Own is helping our customers – and our business – to reduce and reuse plastic and this initiative has the potential to save thousands of units each year. As our customers have navigated this completely new way of shopping, we’ve continued to test, learn and adapt the scheme based on their feedback and now we’re ready to expand it to more locations and introduce new product lines.” 

In response to popular demand, M&S is planning to extend the Fill Your Own product range by Autumn with new lines including wasabi peas, dried mango and apple, cashew nuts and giant wholewheat cous cous – bringing the range to nearly 100 lines in total. 

Plan A Report 2021:

Fill Your Own is just one case study within M&S’s latest Plan A report, which has been published today. During 2020/21, M&S continued taking action to reduce food waste by introducing new technology to enable its stores to donate more surplus food more often. With M&S stores across the UK supporting more than 1,400 local community causes, the new app is enabling the retailer to more than double the amount of food being donated across most stores – leading to a 126% increase in donations from last year and 11.8m meals donated throughout 2020/21. 

M&S also launched a new initiative to turn freshly baked, unsold baguettes and boules into frozen garlic bread each day, which rolled out to 200 stores following a successful trial. The initiative extends the life of bakery products by 30 days. 

In his report introduction, Steve Rowe, Chief Executive of M&S, said: “In the face of unprecedented crisis, we did not lose sight of the goal of our transformation; to return M&S to sustainable, profitable growth and deliver long-term value for all our stakeholders. It is through Plan A – our multi-year sustainability action plan – that we address the risks and opportunities that environmental and societal issues present to us as a business. It drives us to make better choices to ensure M&S, and the precious resources and planet we rely on, are in better shape for the future.” 

The retailer has extended its climate change commitment from being carbon neutral, which it has maintained since 2012, to reach a net zero emissions in its operations by 2035. 

Within the report, M&S highlights that it continued to lead human rights, as one of the first major retailers to formally sign up to the Coalition’s ‘Call to action on human rights abuses: Brand Commitment to exit the Uyghur Region’. M&S also strengthened the oversight of its Plan A programme, through the creation of a new Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Board Sub-Committee. 

For more information on M&S’s Plan A report 2021, please visit: 

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