The past two to three years has seen many global businesses and retailers finally do their bit to help save the environment by cutting down on plastic. From hotel chains to retailers, the efforts made have been impressive and the latest brand to join the movement is Waitrose.
The popular British supermarket has launched an initiative to cut down waste by removing plastic wrapping from their multi-buy cans. However, this doesn’t mean that multi-pack items (and the discounted price that comes along with them) will disappear from shelves altogether.
Instead, customers will still be able to buy multi-pack products for a cheaper price, but they will have to pick them up individually rather than as a pack and the discount will then be applied at the tills.
At the moment, the initiative has only been launched as part of a trial taking place in 17 Waitrose stores across the country. The multi-pack products involved include the supermarket’s baked beans, chopped tomatoes, plum tomatoes and sweetcorn.
The scheme was set up after Waitrose received complaints from customers who were concerned about the supermarket’s single-use plastic that was not suitable for recycling. If the pilot turns out to be success, the supermarket plans on making the important change across their other products.
‘We know shoppers like the convenience of buying a few cans at a time as store cupboard essentials but we want to remove single-use plastic wherever we can,’ said Karen Graley, packaging manager at Waitrose. ‘By selling the cans loose but at multi-buy prices, we’ll be able to pass the cost-saving on to customers without passing on the plastic.’
According to Waitrose, the change is set to save 18 tonnes of plastic from going to landfill – an impressive effort that has led to the supermarket being praised by Greenpeace.
Fiona Nicholls, ocean plastics campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said of the trial: ‘This is another good move from Waitrose. The plastic film on multi-packs is almost always unrecyclable and is a prime example of pointless packaging.
She added: ‘We’re particularly pleased Waitrose has opted to sell these products loose rather than swapping plastic for cardboard. Switching one throwaway item for another makes no sense, and amounts to chopping down forests to save the oceans. Other supermarkets should follow suit and ditch multi-packs without delay.’