Primark are committed to eliminating single-use plastic packaging from our business by 2027.
The world has already seen significant progress towards reducing plastic usage in everyday life: Whether it’s paying for plastic bags at supermarkets in some countries or how paper-based straws in restaurants are now the norm, we’ve come a long way—but have more to do.
At Primark, we started on this road back in 2009 when we began offering customers our famous brown paper bags, 100% recyclable and made from 100% recycled materials.
We’re going to keep working hard on reducing our use of plastic and becoming more sustainable in many other ways, too. Because we know that our great fashion at affordable prices shouldn’t come at a high cost to the planet.
That’s why we’ve committed to eliminating single-use plastic packaging from our business by 2027.
We’re already on our way: In 2020 alone, we removed just over 186 million units of plastic from our business, and in 2021 we removed another 316 million.
Our approach to doing—and continuing—this important work is influenced by a guided framework for businesses and governments set out by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. This is centred around a few key principles:
Eliminate unnecessary plastic items
At Primark, this means rethinking how we design products, developing more circular business models and introducing new shopping experiences in our stores. We've already started this journey by eliminating the use of hangers in some of our collections. We’re also changing how we design clothes and labels – for example, by optimizing tags to display more information in less space, which uses less material. As a result, since 2019 we have managed to remove 503 million items of single-use plastic from our business.
Innovate so all plastic we do need is designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted
At Primark, this means working with our suppliers to increase the recycled content used in our packaging and moving to more sustainable alternatives, such as using cardboard display hangers in stores instead of plastic hangers.
Circulate all the plastic items we use to keep them in use and not thrown away as waste.
At Primark, this means looking at ways that we can adopt more circular business models in our offices, stores and logistics centers to keep our packaging in use for longer.
We’re not stopping there though—our commitment to change stretches across every part of our business and supply chain.
As an international fashion retailer with more than 400 stores in 16 countries, it's important to us that we reduce the environmental impact of our stores as much as possible. This ranges from making stores more energy efficient to managing the amount of non-fashion waste they produce.
For example, we’re making sure our point-of-sale (POS) materials are recyclable and made from recycled materials wherever possible.
When it comes to our business, we can have a big impact with every change we make because of our size and scale. This scale has helped our packaging optimization program cut CO2 emissions across our business, and our partners too, simply because less packaging is being produced, transported, and processed as waste.
All of this is a continuation of the work we’ve been doing for over a decade to become a more sustainable business—and hopefully gives us a strong foundation to keep building on for the next 10 years, too.