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Boots move to 100% compostable pharmacy bags

22 November 2019
Feature Brand

From this month, some Boots customers will start to receive their medicines in 100% compostable pharmacy bags, which are made using potato starch and can be used as a bin liner for food waste.

By March 2020, more than 10 million prescription bags each year will be made using compostable material rather than traditional plastic.

Richard Bradley, Pharmacy Director at Boots UK, said, “This is yet another positive step forward in our  focus on sustainability throughout our 170 year history, and the current journey we are on to reduce the impact our business has on the environment. At the start of this year, our customers told us they didn’t want to receive their medicines in plastic bags and we have been testing alternative materials for some time. So, we are thrilled that our new compostable bags allow us to continue to deliver medicines to patients in a way that is safe, clean and dry, whilst helping to reduce our reliance on conventional plastic.”

Boots also has plans to reduce its plastic use by around 1,300 tonnes per year. This includes removing 149 tonnes of plastic from own-brand Christmas gift ranges; reducing the plastic packaging used in its deliveries by 76%[1] saving 136 tonnes of plastic every year; and will endeavour to be 100% plastic free in online deliveries by the end of 2020. This follows Boots switch to unbleached (brown) paper carrier bags as standard, removing more than 900 tonnes of plastic from its stores each year[2].

[1] As of 4 November 2019

[2] based on 2018-19 carrier bag usage


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Boots UK is the largest pharmacy-led health and beauty chain in the UK and its purpose is to champion everyone’s right to feel good. With over 2,200 stores and a team of around 51,000 colleagues, of which approximately 5,600 are registered pharmacists, the Boots brand has been at the heart of local communities across the UK since 1849. Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care and being the first choice for pharmacy, beauty, healthcare and wellness, alongside offering its innovative portfolio of product brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and YourGoodSkin.

Boots UK is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) – a global leader in retail pharmacy, impacting millions of lives every day through dispensing medicines, and providing accessible, high-quality care. More company information is available at