SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s has announced it plans to remove plastic bags currently used for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items from all of its stores.
By September, Sainsbury’s plans to make paper bags available for loose bakery items, while customers buying loose fruit and vegetables will either have to bring their own bag or purchase a reusable bag from recycled materials.
The supermarket also plans to remove plastic cutlery from stores, replacing takeaway utensils with wooden alternatives.
A broad range of plastic packaging scheduled will also disappear, including plastic trays for asparagus and sweetcorn; plastic lids on cream pots; plastic trays for tomatoes; plastic trays for carrots; and plastic sleeves on herb pots.
All together, the supermarket said the new measures should amount to a reduction of 1,284 tonnes of plastic this year.
Mike Coupe, chief executive of 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 shared bold commitments for removing and replacing plastic, while ensuring as many of its products as possible are made from recycled material and are recyclable after use.
“This included a pledge to 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. Today Sainsbury’s has 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.
“Minimising its impact on the environment has been a focus at Sainsbury’s for many years. For example, it led the way in removing microbeads from own brand products and was one of the first to offer paper-only cotton buds.”