Marks & Spencer has provided an update on the progress of its environmental campaign three years after the launch of Plan A.

The retailer said that it had reduced food packaging by 20% over the course of the scheme, handed out 417 million fewer carrier bags and sent 33% less waste to landfill.

M&S added that 84% of PET food plastic packaging was now made using recycled materials, 91% of food products now met Food Standards Agency salt reduction targets and healthier food now made up 38% of products.

Sixty-two of the original 100 commitments outlined in Plan A had been achieved, M&S said.

Thirty were “on plan” to be achieved by 2012 and seven were “behind plan… as a result of unexpected challenges”. One – the use of bio-diesel – has been put on hold until sustainable supplies became available.

Plan A was extended in March this year to incorporate 80 new commitments and extensions to the original commitments.

“We’ve made excellent progress, but there’s no time to stand still,” said chairman Sir Stuart Rose. “It is clear that evidence of environmental damage and social inequality has increased since we launched Plan A.

“That’s why we’re now pushing ahead with our new, bigger and bolder version, with 80 new commitments and the ultimate goal to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015.”

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