The new trays, made predominantly from mixed coloured PET bottles and trays, means the packaging may be a different colour every time it is produced, depending on what is being recycled.
From pink and red tones to shades of green and blue, the new packaging is unlikely to be the same twice, meaning customers could buy their ready meal in a different colour tray every time they shop.
This packaging innovation, produced for Waitrose by Faerch, will see more ready meals taken out of black plastic, saving 500 tonnes of black plastic going to landfill.
The majority of black plastic packaging is coloured using carbon black pigments which do not enable the pack to be easily sorted by the systems widely used in plastics recycling. As a result, black plastic packaging can commonly end up as residue and disposed of in landfill.
Waitrose has already eliminated black plastic on its fresh meat, fish, poultry, fruit and vegetables, and this new packaging will help the retailer move closer to its target of removing all black plastic by the end of the year.
The supermarket chain’s packaging manager Karen Graley said: “This is an exciting example of packaging innovation that helps us move even more ready meals out of hard-to-recycle black plastic, into a rainbow of recycled content that can be recycled again and again.”