It’s a logistical nightmare: making sure that surplus goods, that would otherwise go to waste across over 600 stores, ends up being put to good use by local charities.
That’s the challenge British retailer M&S and giving platform Neighbourly have been tackling since their partnership went national in 2015.
They started by focusing on food – such as fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes and groceries like pasta, cereal and cooking sauces – that hasn’t been sold at the end of the day (see film). In May 2017 they extended it to include chilled food donations to all M&S nationwide, following a smaller scale trial. More than 2 million meals have been donated so far, according to Neighbourly. When M&S launched their Plan A 2025 in June, they set an ambitious new commitment to make sure that every piece of food unsold in our stores at the end of the day goes to human consumption by 2025.
And so to non-food…? M&S is now asking all stores to donate any surplus non-food items, such as batteries, bags, cleaning and laundry products, and pet food – items which may have damaged packaging but are still fit for purpose.
Read more: M&S Blog