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Waitrose to remove fruit and vegetable plastic bags by 2019

Waitrose bags
Waitrose bags

Retailer Waitrose has announced that it is removing loose fruit and vegetable plastic bags by spring 2019 and 5p single use plastic carrier bags by March next year in all stores.  

It said that this move will save 134 million plastic bags, equivalent to 500 tonnes of plastic annually. 

According to Waitrose, it will become the first nationwide supermarket to remove the fruit and vegetable plastic bags and introduce a home compostable alternative. 

This year’s REB Market Intelligence Summit is taking place on 2 October and will look at end destinations for materials. Find out more here 

This will be trialled first in a small number of shops at a date to be confirmed before being entirely replaced in all stores next year.   

The home compostable bags will look and feel similar to the current plastic ones, apart from the print text that says they are compostable, and the material will break down in landfill if put in a bin.  

It will also initially remove 5p bags from six shops from 8 October to understand how to manage the transition as smoothly as possible for customers before eliminating them completely.  

Waitrose head of CSR, health and agriculture Tor Harris said: “The removal of these bags will change the way our customers, many of whom have been asking us to do this, shop with us in the future. We know we still have a lot to do, but as with our commitment to removing takeaway disposable cups earlier this year, this represents another major step forward in reducing our use of plastics.” 


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