UK retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has introduced a reusable container incentive scheme at its Market Place counters for the fresh food-to-go category.

As part of the scheme, the retailer will offer a 25p discount off each meal to customers, who bring their own reusable containers to M&S’ Market Place.

The first of its kind in the country, the programme is part of the retailer’s efforts to reduce single-use packaging and encourage a change in consumer behaviour.

M&S Food Technology director Paul Willgoss said: “Our priority is to reduce single-use packaging and ensure any we do use can be reused or recycled, as we work towards our 2022 target for all our packaging to be widely recyclable.

“Food-to-go is a growing market; so finding solutions in this space is an important part of our wider plan. Our Market Place containers are already widely recyclable, but we want to go a step further with the introduction of an incentive to encourage customers to switch to reusable containers.”

Market Place concept offers various hot and cold lunch-to-go options such as rotisserie chicken, fish and fresh salads.

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The service is currently available in 23 stores, including London Pantheon on Oxford Street, Newcastle, Norwich and Manchester.

The company also noted that the existing single-use containers at Market Place have been produced from Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified cardboard and are widely recyclable.

M&S has been offering a 25p incentive for hot drinks served in reusable coffee cups as part of an initiative introduced last April.

The retailer also has a range of clip storage containers starting at £4 through its Market Place counters to encourage customers to reuse.