// Waitrose will be the 1st to sell rolls of Christmas gift wrap unpackaged this year, eliminating the single use plastic
// Each roll will use a little extra paper to prevent the wrap from being damaged & labels to stop it unravelling
// If successful, the retailer said it would look to roll out the design more widely next Christmas
Waitrose is set to be the first supermarket to sell rolls of Christmas gift wrap unpackaged this year, eliminating the use of single use plastic that can’t be recycled.
The upmarket grocer said it would sell two designs of gift wrap without any outer plastic packaging, marking the latest step in its war on plastic.
Instead of using plastic shrink wrap to protect the paper, each roll of wrapping paper will use a little extra paper to prevent the wrap from being damaged and labels to stop it unravelling.
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Waitrose’s gift wrap is made from sustainable FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper and printed using water-based inks.
If successful, the retailer said it would look to roll out the design more widely next Christmas.
Meanwhile, all of Waitrose’s Christmas wrap will be fully recyclable this year.
“We know customers will be looking to make Christmas just as special this year, but removing unnecessary plastic means they can enjoy gifting without worrying about the environment and rubbish that can’t be recycled after the festivities,” Waitrose packaging development manager Nikki Grainge said.
“We’re constantly working to reduce single-use plastic and we’re on a roll with the removal of shrink wrap on gift wrap and many other products including tinned food and tissues.
“We’re constantly moving closer to phasing out non-recyclable plastic by the end of 2021.“
It follows last year’s announcement where Waitrose and stable mate John Lewis said they would no longer stock Christmas crackers containing plastic toys and puzzles from this year.
The initiative is part of parent company’s John Lewis Partnership’s aim to reduce single-use plastics.
Both retailers said they would switch to crackers made of cardboard wrappers, filled with recyclable materials such as metal and paper.
Separately, Waitrose announced last week that it was permanently removing the shrinkwrap from its entire range of multi buy canned food, saving 45 tonnes of plastic a year.
Meanwhile, John Lewis is also launching a new plastic-free gift wrap option in October, when sets of three reusable fabric gift bags go on sale.
The prints of the bags have been designed by leading fashion designers, including Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and Giles Deacon and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the British Fashion Council Foundation Fashion Fund.
Waitrose is also continuing to run its Unpacked test in a number of shops.
The trial has included offering a larger number of loose fruit and vegetables, the removal of plastic wrap from flowers and indoor plants and a wide selection of refillable options from cereals, pasta and coffee to wine, beer and cleaning products.
The retailer confirmed it was looking at how this can be developed further in the business.