Waterstones and carrier bags
Unlike many retailers, the vast majority of the goods sold by Waterstones have no protective packaging. We do however want to reduce the amount of plastic bags distributed from our stores, and have developed ways to encourage customers to decrease their reliability on disposable plastic bags.
At its simplest, this policy means all stores displaying a sign asking "do you need a bag?" at till points, and booksellers asking if a bag is required with each purchase, outlining alternatives.
The CSR Group has now implemented the introduction of a new 100% recycled plastic bag, manufactured in Germany, available in all branches of Waterstones.
However, it is our aim to dramatically reduce the usage of plastic bags within Waterstones, and we have chosen to do this by rewarding those customers who either decline to take a bag, or use on of their own when making a purchase. In May 2008 we introduced the eco points scheme, an idea from one of our booksellers. This is an added value bonus for the 3 million plus holders of the Waterstones Card who can make the ecologically sound choice of not taking a plastic carrier when they buy their books. To reward and encourage this, we give them an extra 5 points on their Waterstones Card every time they don't take a bag. This scheme has been enthusiastically received by booksellers and customers, and has resulted in 9 million fewer plastic bags being distributed year on year - a 32% decrease.
In January 2008 we introduced a new, reusable cotton "bag for life" priced at £2.99. This proved incredibly popular with customers, selling over 70,000 bags in 18 months. An updated bag made from 100% certified organic and Fairtrade cotton was released in September 2009, and has been selling approximately 250 bags per week since its introduction.
Sign up for your Waterstones Card today.