At Boots UK, we want to help our customers care for the environment while also making a difference in their local communities. Since Monday 5 October 2015, with the introduction of the carrier bag levy in England, Boots UK stores have sold re-usable carrier bags in a selection of different sizes starting from 5p. The net proceeds from the carrier bags we sell are donated to our charity partner, BBC Children in Need. We do not deduct any administration costs from our donation.
In Northern Ireland, we continue to make payments to the Environment Department in addition to donations to BBC Children in Need.
Information about our bag volumes and charitable donations for England, Scotland and Wales can be found under the Performance section of this page.
Packaging - Playing its part in delivering great products
We know that great products are more than just about what’s on the inside. On the outside the packaging is performing an important role protecting the Boots products you love from damage, making sure they can be transported easily, keeping you safe from any risk of product tampering, and maintaining the product in good condition while being used.
Depending on the product, some packaging is functional, for example Boots Value Paracetamol and some is designed to look fabulous on your bathroom shelf, such as No7 cosmetics.
Packaging performs many roles supporting our great products. However it uses precious resources, which if not responsibly managed, will add to the mountain of waste disposed of every day.
Therefore for all types of packaging, whether it’s Boots own brand, exclusive brands or packaging used to deliver products to our stores, we try to ensure it reduces the impact on the environment as much as possible. This applies both during the manufacturing process and at the end of its life.
Whenever we develop new packaging for products, we continually question whether we are producing it in the best way possible. For example:
- Can we reduce the amount of packaging used?
- Does the packaging help to improve the overall environmental performance of the product?
- Can we increase the use of recyclable materials in the packaging?
- How effectively can the packaging be recycled at the end of its life?
Christmas gifts, all wrapped up!
- Reduced the weight of packaging by 20%
- Reduced the plastics used by 15%
- Reduced paper/card used by 16%
- Increased the amount of recycled materials used by 6%
We were thrilled – not only were we delivering great looking gifts but we had really played our part in thinking about the environment at a time of year when there is so much waste.
We also regularly review existing packaging too. For example when we re-launched the Botanics range in 2012 we managed to revise the packaging to be even more environmentally friendly. We used recycled plastic in the bottles and tubes, and sustainably-sourced cardboard certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for the cartons.
What else do we do?
More than just the products, we are always looking at wider initiatives to help us consider our environmental impact. Here are some of the areas we are involved in:
- Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP): We are members of the Courtaulds Commitment run by the government backed WRAP, a programme designed to help companies reduce the amount of packaging entering the waste stream. The WRAP Product Sustainability Forum sees us working with over 80 other organisations to measure, reduce and discuss the environmental impact of grocery and home improvement products
When we opened a new distribution centre in Burton upon Trent to support our boots.com online shopping orders, we introduced a range of boxes to suit all sizes of orders and changed the materials of these boxes to be more environmentally friendly. We are now looking to use some of these lessons learnt for ‘collect-in-store’ orders
- In August 2018, we introduced a new paperless invoicing process for customer orders from boots.com to help reduce paper waste.