Press releases

Waitrose & Partners launches £1m initiative to tackle UK plastic pollution

Monday 28 January 2019

Waitrose & Partners will today launch a £1 million grant fund to give money to projects designed to reduce unnecessary plastic and tackle plastic pollution. 

Plan Plastic - The Million Pound Challenge will award money, over one year, to projects that can demonstrate an impact on plastic pollution now and in the future. The retailer is partnering with environmental charity Hubbub  to support the chosen projects and measure the impact of the grants.

The £1 million fund has been raised from the sale of 5p carrier bags and grants will range from £150,000 to £300,000.

Applications for Plan Plastic are open until 24th February and will be welcomed from a range of organisations including charities, academic bodies, social enterprises, and schools & colleges, across the following project areas:

  • Plastics in the community – projects encouraging and enabling plastic recycling and the circular economy linked to social impact, for example,  promoting wellbeing in the community.

  • Education – campaigns aimed at children and young people to raise awareness and change behaviour to reduce plastic pollution.

  • Public behaviour change – projects inspiring and enabling new ways of shopping and consuming.

  • Food, agriculture and farming – projects focusing on finding alternatives, reducing use, and increasing reuse of plastics in the food, agriculture and farming industries.

  • Micro plastics – projects aimed at identifying the impact, reducing the prevalence and preventing micro plastic pollution.

Organisations can apply via the Plan Plastic - The Million Pound Challenge website at www.planplasticfund.com

An independent expert panel made up of representatives from academia, industry, non-governmental organisations, business and a senior Waitrose Partner, will convene in April to review the submissions. The chosen grantees will be announced in May 2019.

Tor Harris, Head of CSR, Health & Agriculture for Waitrose & Partners, said: “We hope the fund will help find new and effective ways of accelerating action to rethink how we all use and dispose of plastic - now and in the future. We take this issue very seriously, and are making progress all the time, but we’re determined to maintain our momentum as well as supporting others to do the same.”

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder, Hubbub said: “Waitrose’s new grant fund is tremendously exciting as it will support innovative thinking on how to combat the issue of plastic pollution. We’ll be on the lookout for entries that really demonstrate a tangible impact and that will have a longer-term legacy beyond the grant funding stage.  We’d encourage any eligible organisation working in this space to apply via the website.”

Waitrose & Partners is passionate about reducing its impact on the environment and the amount of plastic waste it creates. The retailer has committed to removing all 5p plastic bags from its shops by March 2019 and will also replace loose fruit and vegetable bags with a home compostable alternative by spring 2019. By doing this it will cut almost 134 million bags each year from the environment, which equates to 500 tonnes of plastic.

Waitrose & Partners has also pledged not to sell any own-label products in black plastic packaging beyond 2019  and has already hit its target to remove black plastic on its fresh meat, fish, poultry, fruit and veg. Waitrose is committed to making all its own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2023.



Notes to editors


About Waitrose & Partners

Waitrose & Partners has 349 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose & Partners is an employee-owned business - all employees are Partners and have a say in how the business is run.

Waitrose & Partners exports products to more than 50 countries worldwide and has nine shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitroseflorist.com for plants and flowers.    

About Hubbub

Hubbub is a charity which explores innovative ways to interest the public in important sustainability issues, through different ‘hubs’ of activity: Food; Fashion; Homes; Neighbourhoods. Hubbub’s previous campaigns have included #SquareMileChallenge, the UK’s first large scale solution to coffee cup recycling, #NeatStreets to cut litter in UK cities and For Fish’s Sake (#FFSLDN) to tackle litter in the Thames.

https://www.hubbub.org.uk/


Enquiries

For further information, please contact:

Waitrose & Partners:

Hannah Chance
email: hannah.chance@waitrose.co.uk  
tel: 07525 273 147 / 01344 826804

For Hubbub:

Nicola Ennis
email: nicola.ennis@barleycommunications.co.uk  
tel: 07837 201085

Sam Williams
email: sam.williams@barleycommunications.co.uk  
tel: 07949 607029