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Community pharmacy 

Boots to scrap plastic bags from its stores

Boots has announced it is scrapping plastic carrier bags from its stores and will instead use brown paper bags as standard.

From 24 June 2019, Boots says it will stop using plastic bags in 53 of its UK stores, with the aim of moving to paper bags in all of its 2,485 stores by the end of 2020.

Announcing the change on 24 June 2019, Boots estimated that the change could remove more than 900 tonnes of plastic from its stores each year.

A spokesperson for the company said it was the first national pharmacy chain to move to unbleached paper dispensing bags, which can be recycled at home instead of the white paper not plastic bags currently in use.

Paper carrier bags will be for sale in various sizes at 5p, 7p, or 10p, with all profits going to the BBC Children in Need charity.

Helen Normoyle, director of marketing at Boots UK, said: “Our new paper bags have been carefully tested to make sure that over their entire lifecycle they are better for the environment.”

The retail pharmacy chain also announced on 24 June 2019 that its centralised pharmacy is introducing more than 60% recycled content to its plastic prescription bags, and that it is actively looking at alternative packaging materials for centrally dispensed prescriptions, including potato starch and paper.

In May 2019, customers complained about some prescriptions from a Boots central dispensing service coming in plastic bags.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206712

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