Packaging and recycling policy - The Waitrose Way - Treading Lightly Waitrose is committed to making the right choices for the environment including reducing packaging, waste, CO2 emissions and responsibly sourcing our food.
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Highlights- We were the first supermarket to stop selling products containing microbeads from September 2016 and we exclusively sell paper-stem cotton buds.
Since April 2018 our cafes have been moving to only offer paper straws and from September 2018 we will no longer sell single-use plastic straws.
From the end of this year, we'll stop using black plastic packaging altogether for our meat, fish and fruit and veg. We'll also stop using black plastic for all our own label goods by the end of 2019. We’re also moving all our Food To Go drink lids from black to clear.
We’re always looking to innovate with non-plastic packaging. We've we had a successful trial of a food by-product punnet for Waitrose Duchy cherry and baby plum tomatoes which is made out of tomato leaf and recycled cardboard. We are also trialing two of our Italian ready meals in trays made out of wood - they feel like cardboard.
Summer 2017 we introduced sandwich packaging which makes it easier for the cardboard to be separated from the plastic, helping boost the ease of recycling.
While paper bags may seem a good alternative to plastic bags it can have its own environmental challenges, for example, it can take three times more energy to make a paper bag than a plastic one. We do encourage our customers to recycle plastic bags by providing recycling points in our shops. Our delivery drivers can also take carrier bags away with them to be recycled. Our bags for life are made from 100% recycled plastic.
We've made small changes across our own-brand range that add up to big reductions - for example moving meat steaks to a flat vacuum pack from a plastic tray. At the end of October 2017, our whole-bird chickens had a significant amount of plastic removed from its packaging. In November 2017 the packaging of Waitrose Duchy Organic jumbo oats 1kg changed from plastic to cardboard.