M&S Brings Back Traditional Greengrocers To Ditch Plastic Packaging

Greengrocers will offer customers help and advice on how to best preserve fresh produce.

Marks & Spencer is bringing back the traditional greengrocer is a bid to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging and give shoppers more environmentally-friendly options.

The retailer is launching more than 90 lines of loose fruit and vegetables free of all plastic packaging in a trial. Shoppers at the M&S store in Tolworth, south west London, will be able to choose from two aisles of fresh produce – including hard fruit and vegetables like potatoes and bananas, but also more perishable items such as soft fruits and berries, sold in compostable punnets.

Greengrocers will offer customers help to pick and weigh their products and advise on how best to preserve fresh produce and prevent food waste at home, as M&S has removed “best before” date labels as part of the trial.


Longterm, M&S has also committed to launching additional lines of loose produce, replacing plastic bags with paper ones and phasing out plastic barcode stickers in favour of eco-friendly alternatives in every one of its UK stores. The aim is to save 580 tonnes of waste over two years.

“Our trial at Tolworth is an important milestone in our plastic reduction journey and bringing back the traditional greengrocer will play a key part in educating our customers,” said Louise Nicholls, head of food sustainability at M&S.

“Our plan is to create long-term impact in the future using tangible insights from the Tolworth store trial.”

Details of the new trial were revealed after the struggling high street chain announced the locations of 17 more store closures.

Last year, the retailer attracted criticism for selling plastic-wrapped slices of cauliflower, labelled cauliflower “steak”, for £2 each. Its move away from plastic follows other supermarkets, such as Morrisons, who announced last year it was bringing back brown paper bags for loose fruit and vegetables, to prevent 150 million small plastic bags from being used every year.