Climate Action

Waitrose introduces ‘refill’ scheme to fight plastic pollution

Waitrose has announced the start of their new plastic free trial.

  • 04 June 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

Waitrose has announced the start of their new plastic free trial.

The British supermarket has introduced a new initiative to combat the wide use of plastic packaging in grocery shops, including a dedicated refillable zone, a frozen ‘pick and mix’ and a ‘borrow a box’ scheme.

The ‘Waitrose Unpacked’ initiative will run for a period of 11 weeks until 18 August and is designed to ‘prepare’ customers for what they can expect in forthcoming years with the decrease in plastic pollution.

The initiative will trial in their Oxford store and will have the largest number of loose fruit and vegetables in any national store.

Other ‘Unpacked’ concepts include plastic wrap being removed from flowers and plants as well as frozen fruit being offered as pick and mix completely plastic free.

The Waitrose refill scheme includes offering wine and beer on tap that is available to take home in reusable bottles. They have also partnered with Ecover to provide automatic deterged and washing up liquid dispenser where customers can refill their Ecover containers.

Head of CSR for Waitrose & Partners, Tor Harris, said: “We are determined to build on the work we’ve already done to reduce packaging - and this test will take our efforts to a whole new level as we help the growing number of customers who want to shop in a more sustainable way.

Across the UK, supermarkets are introducing schemes to reduce the growing plastic pollution. Last month, Morrisons offered all of their fruit and veg completely plastic free. Marks and Spencer and Tesco have also introduced schemes to cut their plastic use.

Waitrose are committed to a plastic free future. By 2023, all Waitrose &Partners own-brand packaging will either be widely-recycled, reusable or home compostable.

The supermarket will also remove black plastic from all its own-brand products by the end of 2019 and it has already removed hard-to-recycle black plastic on its fresh meat, fish, poultry, fruit and veg.