Waitrose products will be black plastic packaging free by end of 2019

Friday 19 January 2018

And black plastic will not be used for Waitrose meat, fish, fruit and veg by end of this year

Waitrose has pledged to not sell any own label food in black plastic beyond 2019 - this is the earliest date a supermarket has committed to removing black plastic from its shelves.

Reducing the use of plastics is a top priority for Waitrose, which has already removed 65 per cent of black plastic from its fruit and vegetable packaging. The retailer will stop using black plastic for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables by the end of 2018.

Currently a great deal of black plastic used by supermarkets for food such as ready meals and puddings cannot be recycled as lasers used by waste processors cannot sense the colour effectively. This means they are not identified for recycling.

Tor Harris, Head of Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing at Waitrose, says: 'Tackling the use of plastics across our business is a key priority for us and we have committed that all our packaging will be widely recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2025. Our work to eliminate black plastic packaging from our shops sees us taking a step towards accomplishing this.

'Not many people realise that black plastic is tough to recycle. As a retailer dedicated to reducing the impact of plastic packaging on the environment, becoming black plastic free across all our own label products is the right thing to do.'

Notes to editors:

Other Waitrose innovations to tackle plastic use includes:

  1. Was the first supermarket to not sell any product containing microbeads from September 2016
  2. Stopped selling own-label plastic-stem cotton buds during the same time - Waitrose now exclusively sells paper-stem cotton buds
  3. In October 2017 Waitrose trialled Waitrose Duchy Organic cherry tomatoes and baby plum tomatoes in punnets made from tomato leaves and essential Waitrose cup mushrooms in pulp punnets
  4. In August 2017 the retailer launched new sandwich packaging to help increase successful recycling. Via a peelable tab the cardboard comes away easier from the plastic, enabling the cardboard to be recycled easier
  5. Waitrose's carrier bag levy proceeds are helping to fund beach and river cleans across England over the next year, organised by the Marine Conservation Society
  6. The retailer has committed to making all our own-label packaging widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable or home compostable by 2025.
  7. Waitrose will stop selling packs of disposable plastic straws from September 2018.

has 352 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 65 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 also exports products to 53 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose'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.

Waitrose was awarded the much-coveted European-wide Compassion in World Farming 'Best Retailer Award', Soil Association's 'Best Organic Supermarket Award 2017' and The Drinks Business' 'Retail Buying Team of the Year Award'.


For more information please contact:

Laura Blumenthal, Press Officer
Telephone: 01344 826774
Email: laura.blumenthal@waitrose.co.uk