Sainsbury’s is the first UK supermarket to completely remove plastic packaging for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery products.
Starting in September this year, customers will need to either bring their own bags or purchase reusable bags which will be made from recycled materials.
Recyclable paper bags will now be the only option for shoppers grabbing loose bakery goods.
The total plastic use at the supermarket will be reduced by 489 tonnes thanks to the move. Plastic will still be used for some packaged fruit and veg, but this will be reduced too.
The supermarket is having an overhaul of its plastic products across the store.
Non-recyclable plastics are being totally removed, such as plastic trays, plastic film on fruit and veg, PVC and polystyrene trays, plastic cutlery and plastic egg trays.
It’s also removing plastic trays for asparagus, sweetcorn, tomatoes and carrots as well as plastic sleeves from herb pots and plastic lids for cream pots.
But campaigners say the reduction is nowhere near enough.
Ariana Densham, ocean plastics campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “We’ve been urging Sainsbury’s to take action on plastics after it came bottom of our supermarket plastics league table last year.
“Sainsbury’s has an annual plastic footprint of nearly 120,000 tonnes, so this pledge to reduce plastics by one per cent is a very small step in the right direction, but nowhere near enough.
“It’s good common sense to get rid of plastic produce bags and bakery bags. We hope to see more measures like this from Sainsbury’s, and we urge them to eliminate unnecessary and unrecyclable plastics by 2020.”
Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said in a statement: “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.”
What do you think of Sainsbury’s reducing plastic use? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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