M&S Refillable (6)

Source: M&S

Customers can choose from eight prefilled homecare products at each refillable station

M&S is making its own-label cleaning and laundry products refillable in an effort to reduce plastic packaging.

The retailer is launching a trial, M&S Refillable, which allows customers to choose from eight prefilled homecare products at a refillable station, such as cleaning sprays, laundry detergents, fabric conditioners and washing-up liquids.

The trial is initially launching in its Stevenage and Bluewater stores, and will be extended to four more branches over the summer.

Shoppers will have to pay an initial £2 deposit for the reusable bottle, which comes in a 500ml, 750ml or 1l size.

The bottle can be returned to store after use and customers will receive a £2 voucher to be redeemed against a second purchase in the M&S Refillable range.

All of the returned bottles will be cleaned and refilled before returning to stores to be sold again.

“At M&S, we want to help our customers live more sustainably by transforming how we sell our products,” said M&S Food’s head of sustainability Lucinda Langton.

“We know they care deeply about reducing plastic so we’re taking a test and learn approach to find innovative solutions.”

If successful, the homecare trial will be rolled out to more stores across the country. The move builds on M&S’s refillable, packaging-free ‘Fill Your Own’ concept, which launched in 2019 and is now available in 14 stores.

Fill Your Own offers over 60 refillable products, including pasta, rice and cereal. The company estimates it has helped remove 350,000 units of single-use packaging.

“Fill Your Own has already been hugely popular – showing there is high demand for refillable great-value options – and if customers love M&S Refillable just as much, we’ll be rolling it out to more stores,” said Langton.

M&S, which is part of a coalition of retailers committing to tackle single-use plastic packaging in the industry, has plans to remove one billion units of plastic food packaging by 2027 as part of its ‘Plan A’ sustainability roadmap.