Sainsbury's pledges to halve plastic packaging by 2025

September 13, 2019

Sainsbury's has become the latest supermarket to target packaging waste, pledging to halve the amount of plastic used in its stores by 2025.

Its customers will have to change their behaviour to achieve the "bold ambition" it said, for example by buying milk in plastic pouches.


It is also inviting the public and business partners to submit new ideas.


"Reducing plastic and packaging is not easy," said Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's chief executive.


"We can't do this on our own and we will be asking our suppliers and our customers to work with us."


MPs said this week reducing packaging should be the priority for retailers, rather than replacing plastic with compostable or recyclable alternatives.


The infrastructure is not in place in the UK to dispose of compostable or biodegradable materials effectively, parliament's committee for environment, food and rural affairs found.


The committee said wider environmental considerations also needed to be taken into account when replacing plastic packaging, including its carbon footprint.


Sainsbury's is meeting with food manufacturers, packaging suppliers, material scientists and the waste and recycling industry to kick-start the process of identifying new solutions.


However the supermarket said it was already rolling out some measures, including removing all plastic bags from its fruit and veg sections by the end of this month.


Instead customers will be invited to bring their own bags, buy reusable bags made from recycled plastic bottles, or put a price sticker onto loose items.


The supermarket considered introducing paper bags, but spokeswoman, Rebecca Reilly said the net impact would have been worse for the environment.


"There's the deforestation link, and they are heavier and bulkier [than plastic]. They take up space in transport, so there are knock-on carbon emissions," she said.


Source: BBC News




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