// Waitrose to use more sustainable packaging in own-label products
// The grocer said it will use over 100 tonnes of Prevented Ocean Plastic (Pop) this year
// Waitrose said it is the first UK supermarket to use Pop in packaging for 13 lines
Waitrose has pledged to use more sustainable packaging in its own-label products as it seeks to reduce plastic waste.
The initiative coincides with World Ocean Day, and over 100 tonnes of Prevented Ocean Plastic (Pop) is estimated to be used this year – the equivalent of saving almost four million plastic bottles from the ocean.
Waitrose said it is the first UK supermarket to use Pop in packaging for 13 lines across its ready meal range, due to launch later this year.
The upmarket grocer is also using Pop more widely across a broad range of its own label packaging, including fruit, veg, family and health.
Waitrose is working toward its commitment for a minimum of 30 per cent recycled content in plastics, using Pop where possible.
All of the plastic tray packaging across its own label fruit is already composed of 80 per cent or more recycled content.
“It’s estimated that 90 per cent of the plastic in our oceans comes from just 10 rivers around the world, with coastal regions in Southeast Asia identified as being at particular risk,” John Lewis Partnership ethics and sustainability director, Marija Rompani said.
“Our customers have told us they want to see more packaging made from recycled content on our shelves and with vast amounts of plastic already in the world, we are committed to repurposing where we can and using more sustainable options.
“There is more to do but we hope that by using more Prevented Ocean Plastics in our packaging, we can be part of the solution to this hugely significant global issue.”
Prevented Ocean Plastic Research Centre, product and business development lead, Ben Tingley said: “World Ocean Day is a moment for our industry and community to come together to progress fully traceable ocean plastic prevention and bring recycled plastic into products on shelves.
“We can already see the significant impact this is having not only on our oceans but also to the communities that live in coastal areas most affected by plastic pollution.
“We therefore hope other businesses will follow in the footsteps of retailers like Waitrose and commit to using more Prevented Ocean Plastic in their packaging to give customers a better plastic choice when making day to day shopping decisions.”
Waitrose’s initiative comes after it launched a new sustainable packaging trial for its strawberries.
The new “Air-Light” punnet packaging is available in select stores now, with shoppers able to take full advantage of reduced plastic packaging across Waitrose’s select 400g British strawberry lines, as well as its Duchy 225g organic strawberry line.
The trial has removed the bubble wrap and its adhesive used in previous strawberry punnets to save a total of 16.89 tonnes over the summer.