From: Packaging News
Waitrose is the latest retailer to react to the plastic packaging backlash, pledging not to sell own-label food in black plastic beyond 2019.
The supermarket said it had already removed 65% of black plastic from its fruit and vegetable packaging and its latest announcement would also impact meat and fish.
Black plastic trays were in the spotlight last March after it was revealed that the packaging wasn’t being recycled due to a colourant that isn’t being detected by recyclers. Carbon black makes the trays invisible to sorting machines and around 1.3bn trays are sent to landfill or incineration each year.
By September, pack manufacturers, packers, retailers and brands, material reprocessors and trade associations agreed a roadmap to recycle all black plastic by the end 2018.
Tor Harris, head of sustainability and responsible sourcing at Waitrose, said: “Tackling the use of plastics across our business is a key priority for us and we have committed that all our packaging will be widely recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2025. Our work to eliminate black plastic packaging from our shops sees us taking a step towards accomplishing this.
‘‘Not many people realise that black plastic is tough to recycle. As a retailer dedicated to reducing the impact of plastic packaging on the environment, becoming black plastic free across all our own label products is the right thing to do.’’
Waitrose’s move follows the news that Iceland is to cease using plastic packaging in all products by 2023. In addition, Pret a Manger and Wagamama said that they would only offer plastic straws on request. Costa is removing plastic straws from its stores this year.
Meanwhile, 200 cross party MPs have written to the heads of the major supermarkets demanding that they eliminate plastic packaging from their products by 2023.