14th June 2019

Sainsbury’s to cut over a thousand tonnes of plastic

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A further 1,284 tonnes of plastic will be reduced by Sainsbury’s this year, in the fight against non-recyclable packaging.

The supermarket has announced it will be removing 489 tonnes of plastic bags, currently used for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items and by September, paper bags will be available to customers for loose bakery items.

Customers buying loose fruit and vegetables will either be able to bring their own bags or buy a re-usable bag made from recycled materials.

So far, Sainsbury’s has worked to reduce 8,101 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and “virgin plastic” every year, with its latest announcement bringing the total to more than 10,000 tonnes.

It also ensures all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Sainsbury’s will also remove plastic cutlery from stores as well as:
• plastic trays for asparagus and sweetcorn (144 tonnes)
• plastic lids from cream pots (114 tonnes)
• plastic trays for tomatoes (102 tonnes)
• plastic trays for carrots (38 tonnes)
• plastic sleeves from herb pots (18 tonnes)

The company has also committed to replace:
• black plastic trays with recyclable alternatives (6000 tonnes)
• plastic film on fruit and vegetables with a recyclable alternative (2518 tonnes)
• PVC and polystyrene trays with recyclable alternatives (1213 tonnes)
• plastic trays for eggs with a fibre alternative (341 tonnes)
• plastic cutlery for takeaway food with wooden alternatives (38 tonnes)

Mike Coupe, CEO at Sainsbury’s, said: “We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores.

“Our customers expect us to be leading the way on major issues like this, so I am determined to remove and replace plastic packaging where we can and offer alternatives to plastic where packaging is still required to protect a product.”

Sainsbury’s recently pledged to end the use of dark coloured plastics (not easily recyclable) across its range of fresh foods by the end of 2019 and entirely by March 2020.

It has also confirmed black plastic trays will be replaced with recyclable alternatives by the end of the year, with black ready-meal trays replaced within the next two months.

Over the past 18 months the Acre Foundation, our charitable branch has supported Plastic Oceans UK. Please help us create a #waveofchange and #rethinkplastic.