M&S sandwich

Source: M&S

Marks & Spencer has introduced recyclable cardboard and paper packaging for sandwiches and toasties sold in its cafés, reducing the plastic used by a claimed 79%.

The move dispenses with a plastic sandwich pack lid in favour of FSC-certified cardboard. The new sandwich packs retain a small plastic film window which is “accepted by recyclers to be recycled with paper in the paper waste stream”, according to M&S. A spokeswoman said it could be put in household recycling for local authority collection.

On toasties, a plastic wrap has been replaced with a paper one. The paper wrap also contains a small element of plastic but is “below the threshold that allows it to be widely recycled”, according to M&S.  

The retailer said the change would save it from using 4.5 million pieces of plastic a year in the packaging for 1.7 million sandwiches and 2.8 million toasties sold in its 300 cafés.

M&S has also recently launched a new café menu for 2024, with more vegan and gluten-free options including Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Pesto Toastie (£6.50), vegan Very Veggie Toastie (£6.50), and vegan Avocado & Rainbow Veg Sandwich (£6).

“Our sandwiches and toasties in M&S Cafés are particularly popular options as customers look to sit down and relax when shopping with us,” said M&S Food head of sustainability Lucinda Langton.

“With a brand-new menu for 2024 came an opportunity to innovate in our packaging – removing and reducing unnecessary plastic, to lower our impact on the planet.”