Great Britain

Waitrose to permanently remove plastic wrapping from multi-buy grocery tins

Waitrose has announced its decision to permanently remove plastic wrapping from its multi-buy grocery tins in an effort to reduce plastic waste.

Previously when customers shopped at the supermarket, they would find tinned items such as baked beans, sweetcorn and tuna wrapped together in sets of three or four.

While this may have helped shoppers pack their trolleys with more ease, the shrink wrap used to secure the cans together is difficult to recycle.

According to Waitrose, eliminating the plastic wrap permanently will save 45 tonnes of plastic waste on an annual basis.

Last year, the firm carried out a trial for the proposed removal of the plastic wrapping from its multi-buy cans.

As the trial was successful, multi-buy grocery tins will now either be displayed as loose cans, or in the case of products such as canned tuna or tomatoes, be presented in cardboard sleeves.

Some of the multi-buy tinned products, including canned kidney beans and sweetcorn, have already had their plastic wrapping removed, with the wrapping being removed from the rest in the coming months.

Claire Mitchell, canned food buyer at Waitrose & Partners, said that the supermarket’s canned produce "has been selling in record numbers since March", which is why the firm wanted "to ensure that we can continue to give customers the best quality and value, without passing on the plastic on such popular products".

"Our customers expect us to keep tackling plastic, which includes eliminating single use shrink wrap on our multi-buys," Ms Mitchell said.

"This is a significant step towards our plan to phase out non-recyclable plastic from all our packaging by 2021."

The supermarket also said it has removed plastic wrapping from its multi-buy essential Waitrose tissues.

According to the retailer, this move will reduce its plastic waste by a further 4.49 tonnes a year.

In August, it was reported that the charge for a plastic carrier bag in shops in England will be increased from 5p to 10p from April 2021, to encourage more shops to carry environmentally-friendly carrier bags.

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