Waitrose & Partners – in partnership with designer Emma Bridgewater and reusable bag manufacturer Jutexpo – has created a new exclusive reusable bag made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, which raises money for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).
The jute-style bag (£6) is created using the material from 12 plastic bottles and the fold-away pouch bag (£4) is created from four plastic bottles.
The process involves turning the plastic into a durable and practical fabric called rPet (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) which looks like jute, but with a wipe-clean coating.
As voted for by the supermarket’s staff, 10% of the retail price from each bag will go to the MCS: a UK charity dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife. Donations from sales of the bags are expected to generate more than £40,000 for MCS over the next six months.
The material launched last May with an initial design and since then more than 298,000 Emma Bridgewater bags have been made from recycling over 1.8 million plastic bottles.
Waitrose & Partners buyer Karen Stenton said: “Single-use plastic bags are becoming a thing of the past and our customers are looking for more environmentally friendly options. These beautiful Emma Bridgewater bags not only look good, but they do good too. As well as contributing to the reduction of plastic in the environment, each purchase supports a really worthwhile charity which is helping to clean the UK’s seas and beaches and protect our marine life.”
Waitrose has also supported the MCS by donating a £1 million of its carrier bag levy funds for beach and river cleans across England.
Emma Bridgewater commented: “I’m so pleased to launch these shopping bags made from recycled plastic water bottles in our cheerful Anemone pattern. The recent focus on eliminating unnecessary plastic in an effort to protect our environment is vital.
“I hope that Waitrose shoppers will enjoy these super-light and practical bags – and that they will serve as a daily reminder of one of the positive things we can do to repurpose existing plastic waste.”