Health and beauty retailer Boots has announced that it will be replacing its single-use plastic carrier bags with paper ones by 2020. In addition, all its prescription paper bags will now be produced with unbleached paper.

The new paper bags will initially be available in 53 of its 2.385 stores. Yet, by 2020, 100% of its outlets will be converted to paper. While paper bags are usually free, Boots will still have a 5p, 7p, or 10p charge for its bags. The money raised from carrier bag purchases will still be donated to the charity – Children In Need

The change to paper bags is to attempt to remove 900 tonnes of plastic from Boots’ store operations each year. The new paper bags will be made from recycled brown paper and printed with water-based inks.

Good, but more is needed

While this is a step in the right direction from the leading UK chain, it’s not completely shying away from plastic! Prescriptions assembled at its central pharmacy, such as repeat prescriptions, will still be sent out in plastic packaging. Boots claims these bags need to be durable and state that the plastic is recyclable. The central facilities are looking at alternative packaging, such as using potato starch or a paper alternative but until then it will remain with the recyclable plastic design.