DEPARTMENT store John Lewis has launched a new scheme at its Oxford shop to encourage its customers to be more environmentally friendly.

The ‘reduce, reuse and return’ pilot is intended to encourage a new culture among customers which could provide a blueprint for other shops.

The pilot will test eight ways in which the retailer and its customers can reduce their impact on the planet, potentially saving thousands of tonnes of plastic and packaging from going to landfill.  

Julie Blake, Partner and Head of Branch at John Lewis Oxford, said: "We’ve had a great response from our customers about the clothing BuyBack scheme we introduced earlier this month and our beauty product recycling service.

"I hope they’re just as open to these other trials. My team and I are really excited about the impact this could have."

Oxford Mail:

John Lewis launched a buyback scheme in Oxford earlier this month.

READ AGAIN: Get money for your clothes in John Lewis & Partners' BuyBack scheme

In a first for a department store, the Oxford shop has removed 5p plastic carrier bags to reduce the amount of plastic it produces. 

The retailer will encourage customers to bring a bag, or buy a reusable one instead. Over a year it’s estimated that this alone could save five tonnes of plastic. 

The Oxford shop will also become the first in the UK to trial a reusable ‘Click and Collect’ bag made from 100 per cent recycled materials. 

One in four orders will be delivered to the shop in these reusable bags, meaning customers will be handed their orders without any additional packaging.

In place of bubble wrap the retailer will trial new recyclable wrapping for china and glass products bought in the shop.

The scheme to cut plastic waste comes following similar moves by two other national retailers Oxford stores.

Waitrose 'Unpacked' scheme was tested in Oxford earlier this year, before being extended to other stores.

And Sainsbury's in Kindlington was a trial shop for the supermarket's scheme to scrap plastic packaging for fruit and veg.

John Lewis will also be encouraging customers to bring back any hangers they no longer need, so they can be reused or recycled.

As well as reducing the amount of packaging it gives out, John Lewis Oxford will reward my John Lewis customers who bring back empty beauty product packaging and pre-loved clothing with gift vouchers. 

The beauty product recycling scheme named ‘BeautyCycle’ was tested earlier this year and this week is being permanently introduced to 36 John Lewis shops which have a beauty department.

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Customers booking home deliveries with a shop partner will be offered the chance to help reduce carbon emissions and traffic by selecting an ‘cco-delivery’ slot when a van would be near their home.

Oxford Mail:

Stephen Cawley, partner and head of sustainability at John Lewis said: “Our customers have told us they want us to help them reduce their impact on the planet and that reducing and recycling packaging is key for them. 

“Our message that we want customers to take away just the product that they love and reduce and reuse the packaging that they don’t will be clearly communicated throughout the shop.

“We will listen to customer feedback on this blueprint before deciding what we should introduce to other shops.”

Here's what John Lewis Oxford is trialling as part of the scheme

  • Removal of 5p plastic carrier bags
  • Reusable ‘Click & Collect’ packaging
  • Removal and recycling of ‘Click & Collect’ packaging
  • Replacing bubble wrap with new recyclable packaging for china and glass items bought in the shop
  • Eco- home deliveries
  • Recycling unwanted hangers from any brand or retailer
  • BeautyCycle – My John Lewis loyal customers will be invited to recycle up to five of their used beauty products’ packaging in exchange for £5 off their next beauty purchase at John Lewis & Partners
  • Fashion BuyBack – launched earlier this month ‘BuyBack’ rewards customers for bringing back bring up to three items of pre-loved clothing from any of the brands stocked by John Lewis in return for £3 per item

John Lewis & Partners has committed to ensure all of its own brand product packaging is either easily recyclable or reusable by 2023.