Find out how we’ve made this year’s minis from more sustainable materials

Little Shop 2 minis

What are the minis made from?

Our Little Shop minis have all been made to last using durable materials – and they can be played with for years to come. We’ve loved seeing families continue to play with their Little Shop 1 minis throughout the year.

But we listened to customer feedback following Little Shop 1 and have made some changes to how our collectables are made. This year, we’ve made even more of the minis from sustainable and easily recyclable paper and card – making up over a third of the full set. The rest of our minis are made from recycled old washing machines, fridges and drinking bottles. We’re not only preventing plastic from going to waste, but we’re giving it a completely new purpose by creating toys that will last for years to come.

Like last year, all the single-use packaging for Little Shop is made from sustainable paper and can be easily recycled at home.

Play, reuse, recycle

Our minis are made to last and we’ve created lots of games and fun activities to keep kids entertained during the summer and beyond – from colouring in to memory- and maths-based games.

But if your little ones have finished playing with Little Shop 2, we’re helping you to play, reuse, recycle. Firstly, why not try to reuse your minis by passing them onto friends and family (in line with social distancing measures) for them to play with?

Alternatively, you can recycle the paper and card minis, along with all the packaging, in your home recycling bin. To recycle the plastic minis, please drop them in our recycle box at our Food information desks in every store during your weekly shop. We’ll recycle any leftover minis into items such as store fittings and playground equipment through our plastic take-back scheme – read on to find out more!

‘Play, reuse, recycle’ graphic
Little Shop 2 recycle box

Giving plastic a new purpose

Our take-back scheme helps customers to recycle plastic that’s not easy to recycle at home – such as crisp packets and wrappers for things like vegetables. It’s currently in 16 M&S stores and we’ll continue rolling it out to more locations in the future.

Through our take-back scheme, collected plastic is sorted and melted to create flat boards, which are used to create items such as store fittings and playground equipment for primary schools. We use this very mechanic to recycle any leftover Little Shop collectables from our recycle boxes in every store – we simply combine the minis from these boxes with plastic collected through the scheme at the end of the campaign.

After adding last year’s minis to our plastic take-back scheme, we created flower planters for primary schools in Essex and Bristol during the spring – giving old plastic a completely new purpose!

Our plastic plan

At M&S, our goal is to reduce our use of plastic packaging and we’ve already removed 2,000 tons so far by finding alternatives such as foil and card.

Where it’s not possible to reduce or remove plastic, we want to help our customers to reuse or recycle any we do use.

As well as rolling out our plastic take-back scheme, we’re making changes to our packaging to make it easier to recycle at home and, by 2022, we’ll make sure 100% of our packaging is ‘widely recyclable’. We’ve also introduced incentives to encourage our customers to reuse.

We’re constantly innovating and finding new solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle our use of plastic – and help our customers along the way too. Read more about our plastics plan here.

For more detailed information on how we’ve made the minis, please visit our corporate site.

Recycle logo

Learn what sustainable materials our collectables are made from