M&S Refilled

Source: M&S

The scheme offers a range of 10 homecare products in prefilled returnable containers

M&S is expanding a scheme selling homecare products in prefilled and returnable containers to 25 stores, having been trialling the initiative in six branches since 2022.

Branches now set to gain the retailer’s ‘Refilled’ initiative include Liverpool One, a full-line M&S store that opened at the end of last year. The scheme is set to have reached 25 stores in total by the end of January. 

Refilled offers a range of 10 own-label products, including cleaning sprays, laundry detergents, fabric conditioners and washing-up liquids, in prefilled and returnable containers. The initial purchase price includes a £2 charge that serves as a deposit on the container. On returning the bottle to store, customers get the £2 back in the form of a voucher to spend on a second purchase.

M&S said to date over 10,000 customers had engaged with the scheme, with its own-label Citrus Washing Up Liquid proving the most popular product.

The retailer estimates the rollout will eliminate the need for 150,000 pieces of plastic.

The scheme is powered by refillable packaging platform Reposit, which has also been behind similar pilots in Asda and Co-op.

In October 2023, Reposit launched a project aiming to onboard multiple retailers and suppliers to adopt standardised reusable containers. About six major retailers and eight major brand groups had signed up by Reposit’s 30 October deadline for registering interest, ahead of a proposed launch by 30 June this year.

Read more: Small-scale trials of reusable packaging worse for environment than single-use soft plastic

“At M&S, we want to support our customers to live more sustainably,” said M&S Food head of sustainability Lucinda Langton.

“We know they care deeply about us reducing plastic packaging and are continuing to look for ways they can make small changes in their everyday lives.

“Our Refilled scheme has proven hugely popular – showing there is high demand for refillable and great value options – so we’re delighted to be able to introduce this into even more of our stores across the UK this month.”

Reposit co-founder Stuart Chidley said: “Reposit are delighted to have worked closely with M&S to build a scalable standardised returnable packaging solution that works for business and customers.

“This scale-up is the result of strong customer engagement, which we hope will result in more action across the retail industry to offer customers a convenient alternative to single-use packaging.”

Jane Martin, head of development at campaign group City to Sea, which is backing Reposit’s work, said: “Our consumer research shows that customers are ready to shop more sustainably, but a major blocker is being able to access alternatives to single-use on the high-street. By taking part in this cross-industry collaboration, M&S are leading the way to unlocking the circular economy.”

Refilled is already in M&S’s Aintree, Bluewater, London Colney, London Stratford, Stevenage and Vangarde, York stores.

The further 19 stores set to gain the initiative by the end of January are:

  • Camberley
  • Cheshunt
  • Falkirk Central
  • Hackney
  • Hedge End
  • Hempstead Valley
  • Kingsley Village
  • Leamington
  • Liverpool One
  • Meadowhall
  • Moseley
  • Oatlands Harrogate
  • Purley Way
  • Silverburn Glasgow
  • Silverlink Newcastle
  • Stockport
  • Tolworth
  • Wolstanton Stoke
  • York