Boots has begun switching its plastic pharmacy bags to 100 per cent compostable bags using potato starch.
The health and beauty retailer aims to switch over 10 million traditional plastic prescription bags to compostable material by March 2020.
The new bags can also be used as a bin liner for food waste.
“This is yet another positive step forward in our focus on sustainability throughout our 170 year history, and the current journey we are on to reduce the impact our business has on the environment,” Boots UK pharmacy director Richard Bradley said.
“At the start of this year, our customers told us they didn’t want to receive their medicines in plastic bags and we have been testing alternative materials for some time,” he said.
“We are thrilled that our new compostable bags allow us to continue to deliver medicines to patients in a way that is safe, clean and dry, whilst helping to reduce our reliance on conventional plastic.”
Boots also has plans to reduce its plastic use by around 1300 tonnes each year. This includes removing 149 tonnes of plastic from own-brand Christmas gift ranges; reducing the plastic packaging used in its deliveries by 76 per cent saving 136 tonnes of plastic every year, and going 100 per cent plastic free in online deliveries by the end of 2020.