Boots' Belfast flagship leads way on bags
Retail giant Boots has vowed to ditch plastic bags in all its stores by next year, replacing them with paper ones.
The company said 53 stores - including its flagship Belfast store at Donegall Place - will lose plastic bags at checkouts from Monday, with all 2,485 sites only offering customers paper bags from early next year.
However, Boots will continue to charge customers for the new unbleached brown bags, despite them not falling under the plastic bag tax.
Managing director Seb James said the decision means 900 tonnes of plastic will be removed from his stores as a result.
He added: "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.
"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. Our customers expect us to act and this change signifies a huge step away from our reliance on plastic."
Hundreds of companies have already made pledges to cut back the amount of plastic and packaging they use.
Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.
McDonald's is replacing plastic straws with paper ones, and supermarket Iceland has promised to end plastic packaging from own-label products by 2023.
Boots market directing director Helen Normoyle said the paper bags had been carefully tested.