U.K.: Waitrose to cut black plastic trays from fresh produce aisle

January 19 , 2018

The British supermarket plans to remove the trays in meat, fish and fruit and vegetable ranges by the end of 2018.

Shortly after British frozen food retailer Iceland committed to eliminating all plastic packaging from its own branded products, a high-end supermarket chain has announced its contribution to the growing movement to cut plastic waste.

With a truckload of plastic entering the ocean every minute, the British Government has announced a plan to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the U.K. by 2042.

Retailer Waitrose is responding to this push through the decision to stop selling packs of disposable straws from September 2018, building on a track-record as the country’s first supermarkets to stop selling items with microbeads in September 2016 and switching exclusively to paper-stem cotton buds.

Plastic straws will be replaced by non-plastic alternatives.

The supermarket is also reducing its reliance on black plastic trays with the ultimate aim of no longer using them. It says these types of trays are difficult for processors to detect and therefore recycle. 

From the end of 2018, all Waitrose own-label meat, fish and fruit and vegetables will no longer be in black trays. The supermarket has already removed 65% of black plastic packaging from fresh fruit and vegetables.

Waitrose says it is committed to making all its own-label packaging widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable, or home compostable by 2025. Since 2009 it has reduced its overall packaging by nearly 50%.

“Phasing out packs of single use straws and black trays shows how seriously we are taking the challenge of cutting down our use of plastics and reducing our impact on the environment,” said Waitrose head of sustainability and responsible sourcing, Tor Harris.




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