Green Business Awards 2010: Carbon emissions ambition

Winner - Marks and Spencer

Once the number of plastic bags a retailer issued might have been seen as an indicator of success.

But since 1987, the number of single-use bags passing the exit doors of Marks & Spencer has dropped by 64%, or 400 million a year, as customers have discovered the joy of using the same bag again and again. Those who do want a single-use bag pay 5p for the privilege: the profits are used to help fund 79 public parks, garden and play areas through environmental group Groundwork.

Reducing plastic bags is, of course, just one small part of the all-encompassing Plan A which M&S launched in 1987, so named because, when it comes to climate change and safeguarding our planet, there can be no Plan B.

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