Climate Action

Waitrose takes action against plastic

Waitrose is making a commitment to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging.

  • 16 October 2019
  • Samiirah Nur

Waitrose is making a commitment to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging.

Waitrose is bringing retail sustainability to the forefront with the unveiling of their ‘Plastic Plan’. Right now, plastic wrap is being removed from several multi-buy, store-brand customer favourites, including baked beans, chopped tomatoes, plum tomatoes and sweet corn.

If this initiative is successful, the UK-based grocery retailer plans to continue to remove plastic packaging from more store-brand items.

Plastic pollution is a growing problem in the UK. In July, the UK Government announced plans to lead a global innovation scheme in the battle of plastic pollution in the drive toward a net zero future.

To further incentivize customers into buying the newly sustainable products, Waitrose will ensure single cans will also benefit from multi-buy prices.

Karen Graley, Waitrose Partner and Packaging Manager, explained, "By selling the cans loose but at multi-buy prices, we'll be able to pass the cost saving on to customers, without passing on the plastic."

This renewable step is one of several Waitrose is taking on a path toward a more sustainable future. Currently, over 85% of the UK based grocery retailer’s store-brand packaging is reusable, compostable or recyclable plastic.

By introducing compostable plastic bags in produce departments, Waitrose is saving an estimated 71 million plastic bags a year. Reaching out beyond the grocery aisles, Waitrose is looking for renewable solutions in their supply chains, as well. Last year, the retailer joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, working to minimize plastic pollution from abandoned fishing equipment.

Waitrose is looking to take their newfound solutions and share them with other retailers. Graley, stated, “We regularly share our plans at supplier and farming conferences to encourage those attending to share ideas on ways to minimise the use of plastics in our supply chains.”

Photograph: Waitrose