Luxury British retailer Selfridges has announced plans to ban plastic bottles from its whole store in an effort to raise awareness of ocean pollution and do its bit to help the cause. As an alternative, customers are being encouraged to bring their own bottles into the store, which can be replenished at a newly-opened water fountain the Food Hall part of the store.
“The Selfridges Project Ocean campaign is one which is very close to my heart and our business,” said Selfridges Group deputy chairman Alannah Weston. “With our latest initiative we aim to drive awareness of the serious threat plastic poses to our oceans, in particular single use plastic water bottles. We will be encouraging people to think twice about their use of plastic water bottles, which ultimately end up as waste destroying our precious oceans.” Selfridges had previously reported selling around 400,000 single-use plastic water bottles a year through its food halls and restaurants. Now the initiative, which is part of the department store’s partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Marine Reserves Coalition (MRC), aims to change consumer behaviour for the better, and prompt customers into a more ecological way of thinking. “The staggering volume of plastic entering our oceans every year is having a devastating effect on our marine wildlife, from tiny corals to great whales,” said ZSL director of conservation programmes, Professor Jonathan Baillie. “No matter where plastic litter originates, once it reaches the ocean it becomes a planetary problem as it is carried by ocean currents,” he added. “The impact on wildlife, the environment and the potential harm to human health are only now becoming abundantly clear. The actions taken by Selfridges to raise awareness about the plastic in our oceans is a courageous step that other retailers need to urgently follow,” said Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven.
Selfridges has long been campaigning for green issues. Back in 2011, the retailer launched a huge multichannel campaign aimed at educating customers about the dangers faced by our oceans. Through its efforts, the store has created a platform for more than 20 environmental groups to spread awareness of pressing ecological issues.