Boots UK is phasing out plastic carrier bags and replacing them with more environmentally friendly unbleached brown paper carrier bags, with an initial rollout involving 53 stores set to be extended to all 2,485 branches "by early 2020".
The company said that as of today (Monday June 24) it had become the first national pharmacy, health and beauty retailer in the UK to move to unbleached paper for both carrier bags and dispensing bags.
This will remove over 900 tonnes of plastic from store operations each year, according to Boots.
Customers can purchase a small, medium or large paper carrier bag, sourced and manufactured in the UK, for 5p, 7p, or 10p and Boots said all profits will be donated to its charity partner, BBC Children in Need.
“Plastic waste is undoubtedly one of the most important issues around the world today with TV shows like Blue Planet highlighting the effects of plastic pollution," said Boots UK managing director Seb James.
Mr James described the move to unbleached paper bags as a "pivotal moment" in the compay's history, adding: "There is no doubt that our customers expect us to act and this change signifies a huge step away from our reliance on plastic."