Waitrose saves 1,300 tons of waste as it hits black pack­ag­ing target

Daily Mail - - News - By Sean Poul­ter Con­sumer Af­fairs Editor

WAITROSE has hit a target to re­move black plas­tic packs from all fresh meat, poul­try, fish, fruit and veg as stores race to cut down on pol­lu­tion and waste.

The move means it suc­cess­fully did away with 1,300 tons of black plas­tic pack­ag­ing, which is hard to re­cy­cle and of­ten ends up in land­fill or is burned for en­ergy, last year.

The re­tailer is now work­ing on ef­forts to re­move the rest of the black plas­tic from its own la­bel lines by the end of this year.

The move is part of a wider ef­fort by re­tail­ers to cut down on the use of plas­tic. The measures are a demon­stra­tion of the im­pact of the Daily Mail’s cam­paign to high­light the dan­gers of plas­tic blight.

When the Mail launched its Ban­ish the Bags cam­paign in Fe­bru­ary 2008 su­per­mar­kets fought to block it. Sim­i­larly, man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers op­posed our Take Back Your Bot­tles cam­paign, ad­vo­cat­ing a bot­tle de­posit and re­turn scheme. The im­pact of Sir David At­ten­bor­ough’s Blue Planet II se­ries show­ing the ap­palling harm caused by plas­tic pol­lu­tion to sea life has also had a pro­found ef­fect in changing pub­lic at­ti­tudes, along with var­i­ous cam­paign­ing groups.

Ice­land has led the re­sponse of re­tail­ers with a pledge to re­move all plas­tic from its own-la­bel prod­ucts by 2023.

The prob­lem with black plas­tic trays is that they can­not be picked out by the laser sort­ing ma­chin­ery on con­veyor belts in coun­cil waste and re­cy­cling cen­tres. This means they are con­sid­ered gen­eral waste.

Waitrose spokesman Tor Har­ris said: ‘Elim­i­nat­ing black plas­tic is a pri­or­ity for us.

‘While re­mov­ing it, we have also taken the op­por­tu­nity to re­duce the amount of plas­tic of any colour by re­mov­ing trays from fruit and veg like ap­ples, broc­coli and pak choi.

‘We’re now look­ing at ready meals and other prod­ucts.’

The chain is re­plac­ing loose fruit and veg bags with home com­postable al­ter­na­tives and will re­move 5p sin­gle-use car­rier bags by March.

It has al­ready stopped us­ing throw­away cups, lined with plas­tic, for take­away hot drinks.

Gone: Harm­ful pack­ag­ing

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