Retail giant Marks & Spencer is to donate £3 million raised from its 5p charge on plastic bags to a charity dedicated to fighting litter on the UK’s beaches and helping to save endangered marine animals such as dolphins and turtles.
M&S were among the first national retail chains to impose a fee for plastic bags in order to give people an incentive to switch to reusable bags. The charge has had a profound effect on the habits of shoppers, and, since the fee was instituted, M&S has been able to cut down its plastic bag use by 80%.
To celebrate the success of the initiative and to further underline M&S’s commitment to environmental issues, M&S will donate £3 million of the money raised by the bag charge to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the World Wildlife Fund, and will also create a new educational programme to raise awareness of the environment amongst the UK’s schoolchildren.
The MCS will use the donation to fund beach clean-up campaigns, while the WWF has earmarked its share to both help preserve the UK’s fish stocks and safeguard the future of endangered animals such as dolphins and turtles.