H&M and Fast Retailing’s Plans to Reduce Single Use Plastic
Big fashion brands like Uniqlo and H&M have joined the bandwagon to champion a fashionable and sustainable future.
In Malaysia, H&M will begin to charge RM0.20 (about a nickel) for the use of every plastic of paper shopping bag across all stores nationwide.
This move is part of H&M’s circular packaging strategy which consists of longer-term measures to reduce its packaging use as well as to transition towards reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging design by 2025. With this in place, the brand aims to encourage its customers to bring their own reusable bags or purchase them from H&M stores if they do not already own one.
This initiative is actually formed by a partnership between H&M and WWF-Malaysia the body that is affiliated to the international conservation organisation (World Wide Fund for Nature).
The partnership aims to increase the public’s understanding of solid waste issues and management by conducting social surveys, organising education talks and doing river clean-ups. It also aims to promote actions to reduce, recycle and reuse solid waste through campaigns on reducing single-use plastics. This is carried out by setting up recycling facilities in selected locations.
All proceeds collected from the purchase of plastic or paper shopping bags will be donated to WWF-Malaysia’s project to safeguard freshwater resources by reducing the waste footprint in Setiu Wetlands in Terengganu and in the Klang Valley. This project has begun yesterday and will run for one year.
“To create a more sustainable fashion future, we need to take the lead by tackling some of the most significant challenges that are facing our planet and society. However, great change can only be achieved with collaboration. Through this partnership with WWF-Malaysia, we want to encourage our customers to reduce waste and consequently find long term sustainable solutions for our ecosystem,” says Fredrik Famm, Country Manager of South East Asia at H&M.
Fast Retailing, the public Japanese retail holding company that owns brands like Uniqlo and others including J Brand, Comptoir des Cotonniers, G.U, Princesse Tam-Tam, and Theory plans to eliminate the use of unnecessary plastic throughout its supply chain and reduce the amount of single-use plastic handed to customers like shopping bags and product packaging, at its Group stores worldwide.
Some of its key initiatives include switching from plastic shopping bags to eco-friendly paper bags throughout stores like Uniqlo in Europe, as well as through brands like Theory, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse tam.tam, and PLST.
In addition to that, the brands will also be selling eco-friendly reusable bags starting this September. And to encourage the use of reusable bags, all Uniqlo and GU stores in Japan will begin charging for shopping bags at a price of 10 yen (plus tax) per bag from January 14, 2020. However, Uniqlo and GU in 16 markets across North America, Europe, and Asia regions will charge for shopping bags after September 2019.
(Photos and Source: H&M Malaysia, Loki Media)