Sainsbury’s to remove plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables

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Retailer Sainsbury’s has announced that it plans to cut a further 1,284 tonnes of plastic this year, including removing 489 tonnes of plastic bags, which are used for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items.  

By September, paper bags will be available to customers for loose bakery items, and people buying loose fruit and vegetables will either be able to bring their own bags or buy a reusable bag made from recycled materials.  

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The retailer has previously introduced measures that are already leading to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and ‘virgin plastic’ annually, and its latest efforts will bring this total to over 10,000 tonnes. This is in addition to its commitments to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.  

It will also remove plastic cutlery from stores as well as: 

  • Plastic trays for asparagus and sweetcorn (144 tonnes) 
  • Plastic lids from cream pots (114 tonnes) 
  • Plastic trays for tomatoes (102 tonnes) 
  • Plastic trays for carrots (38 tonnes) 
  • Plastic sleeves from herb pots (18 tonnes). 

The retailer has also committed to replace: 

  • Black plastic trays with recyclable alternatives (6000 tonnes)  
  • Plastic film on fruit and vegetables with a recyclable alternative (2518 tonnes) 
  • PVC and polystyrene trays with recyclable alternatives (1213 tonnes) 
  • Plastic trays for eggs with a fibre alternative (341 tonnes) 
  • Plastic cutlery for takeaway food with wooden alternatives (38 tonnes). 

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe 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.” 

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