M&S wooden cutlery

M&S is phasing out plastic cutlery and expects to have wooden versions in all stores by the end of September.

Marks & Spencer will switch its single-use plastic cutlery to Forest Stewardship Council-certified wooden versions from next month.

The retailer is phasing out plastic cutlery and expects to have wooden versions supplied by Euro Packaging in all stores by the end of September. It is also removing packets of plastic cutlery, designed for convenience during parties and picnics, and replacing them with bamboo versions by the new year.

A spokeswoman for M&S said it was taking these steps to help ensure it was only using plastic when there was a “clear and demonstrative purpose” for it above other more sustainable materials. “This is as important to our customers as it is to us,” she said.

M&S sustainable business director Mike Barry told The Grocer: “We’re passionate about cutting out the unnecessary use of plastic and helping our customers reuse and recycle more. Replacing the 75 million pieces of plastic cutlery we give out every year in our stores with wooden alternatives is just one of the steps we’re taking to remove single-use plastics from our business.”

Read more: Pret to roll out compostable cutlery to all stores

This change comes as part of M&S’s aim to become more environmentally friendly and become a zero-waste business by 2025. Moves made so far include rolling out reverse vending reward machines in Leeds as part of a pilot coalition with other retailers, introducing zero-emissions delivery lorries nationwide to cut its carbon footprint from its chilled food deliveries, launching a range of beers and ales made from surplus sandwich bread, and replacing plastic straws with paper ones in M&S cafés.