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Black plastic is a top priority for us because it's not easy to recycle and infra-red sensors in recycling plants struggle to pick it up. So far we’ve removed 65% of black plastic packaging from fresh fruit and vegetables. From the end of this year, we will stop using black packaging altogether for our meat, fish and fruit and veg. We've committed to stop using black plastic packaging for all our own label goods by the end of 2019.
We’re always looking to innovate with non-plastic packaging and in October we trialled a food by-product punnet for Waitrose Duchy cherry and baby plum tomatoes which was made out of tomato leaf and recycled cardboard. At the same time, we trialled our Essential Waitrose cup mushrooms in pulp punnets.
The stirrers we provide in our cafes are made out of wood
Over the summer we introduced sandwich packaging which makes it easier for the cardboard to be separated from the plastic, helping boost the ease of recycling.
We have made small changes across our own-brand range that add up to big reductions - for example moving the steak to a flat vacuum pack from a plastic tray. At the end of October 2017, our whole bird chickens had plastic removed from their packaging. In November 2017 the packaging of Waitrose Duchy Organic jumbo oats 1kg changed from plastic to cardboard.