Sainsbury’s makes bold commitments to cut plastic packaging

Sainsbury’s has announced that it will end the use of dark coloured plastics (which are difficult to recycle) across fresh foods by the end of 2019 and entirely by March 2020 – and will remove all plastic packaging from Christmas crackers this year.

The supermarket chain will also introduce a trial scheme for customers to ‘pre-cycle’ by providing an area in-store for shoppers to remove unwanted primary and secondary packaging and leave it for recycling. The retailer explained: ‘This means food remains protected through the supply chain, but offers the customer the option to recycle before they take items home.’

Sainsbury’s has previously implemented measures that are already leading to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and use of ‘virgin plastic’ every year. Over the next 12 months, Sainsbury’s will remove a further 1,280 tonnes of plastic from products and ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Sainsbury’s plan for cutting plastic use falls under the four headings of remove, reduce, replace and recycle. 

For the first time, Sainsbury’s is setting out in detail where plastic is being completely removed, where plastic is being reduced, and where non-recyclable plastic is being replaced with recyclable alternatives.

Sainsbury’s ceo Mike Coupe said:“We are serious about reducing plastic. For many years, Sainsbury’s has prioritised sustainability and sought innovative solutions to reduce plastic packaging and increase recycling. These announcements show what we have already achieved, and demonstrate our firm commitments for the future to make significant reductions in plastic use.”

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