Each bag is created using material from seven plastic bottles, in a process which turns the plastic into a practical fabric called rPet (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), which looks like a jute bag with a wipe-clean coating.
The shopping bags are priced at £5 and feature Emma Bridgewater’s distinctive polka dots design, in two colours of purple and cream & lilac. Also available are four fold-away pouch bags priced at £4.
Both types of bag will be available in branches of the supermarket chain from June 20, with 10% of the price from each bag going to The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
With the launch of the exclusive Emma Bridgewater designed bags, Waitrose and Jutexpo will be reusing half a million bottles in total.
Emma Bridgewater commented: “I hope that Waitrose shoppers will enjoy these super-light and useful bags, and that they will serve as a positive daily reminder to recycle plastic wherever possible.”
Waitrose buyer Karen Stenton said: “Waitrose is continually looking for innovative ways to cut plastic waste and we realise this is just as important to our shoppers, who are extremely interested in tackling these pressing environmental challenges too.
“Reusable jute bags are extremely popular with our customers, and the fact that this shopping bag uses recycled material will make it even more appealing to them. It means they are not only being kind to the environment by purchasing a reusable bag, but are also contributing to the reduction of plastic in the environment – while supporting a worthwhile charity with their purchase.”
In April, the retailer announced that all Waitrose own-label packaging will be widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025.
*Divisional sales excluding fuel for Waitrose were up 0.8% last week (to Saturday June 2) compared with the same week last year.
Retail director Ben Stimson said: “It was another strong week for wine sales, with rosé the star performer, up 42% on last year. Beer and cider also fared well, with sales up 4% and 11% respectively. Promotional activity saw gin sales shine in spirits, and sales of mixers rose by 20%.”
He added: “A mixed week of weather didn’t deter customers from enjoying the sporadic spells of sunshine, with sales of barbecue meat up 9%.”