First UK Supermarket To Eliminate Single-Use Packaging Will Save 1,300 Tons Of Plastic From Landfills

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By Mandy Froelich / Truth Theory

Because plastic is a burden to the environment and wildlife, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains has pledged to eliminate all plastic packaging over the next year. By phasing out plastic cutlery, bags, lids, and trays, an estimated 1,284 tons of plastic will be prevented from entering the supply chain.

GoodNewsNetwork reports that Sainsbury’s is set to remove 489 tonnes’ worth of plastic bags which are presently used for loose fruit, vegetables, and bakery items. In place of the bags, customers may bring their own bags or buy a reusable bag made from recycled materials. Reportedly, paper bags will be available to customers for loose bakery items.

The supermarket chain also plans to remove plastic cutlery from all 1,500 stores. Plastic rays for asparagus, plastic cream pot lids, plastic tomato and carrot trays, and plastic sleeves from herb pots will also be phased out. In addition, the company has committed to replacing their black plastic trays; plastic fruit and vegetable film; PVC and polystyrene trays; and plastic egg trays with recyclable alternatives.

Finally, the chain will end the use of dark-coloured plastics (which are difficult to recycle) across all fresh foods by 2018. By the end of 2020, they will be replaced with recyclable alternatives.

“We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores,” said Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said. “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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This isn’t the first time the company has implemented sustainable measures. Previous efforts led to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and “virgin plastic” every year. The latest efforts bring that total to over 10,000 tonnes. Furthermore, the company plans to only offer reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

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h/t GoodNewsNetwork 

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