Friday 13 September 2019 12:01 am

Sainsbury's pledges to slash plastic packaging by 50 per cent

Sainsbury’s has pledged to slash the amount of plastic packaging it uses by 50 per cent by 2025, as it admitted it currently uses almost 120,000 tonnes a year. 

The supermarket giant said it would cut plastic use across all branded food packaging – including its own-brand products – and all of its operations.

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In order to meet its new target, Sainsbury’s will switch to alternative materials, use lighter-weight plastics and introduce refillable packaging.

 In 2018, the grocer reduced plastic packaging use by just one per cent. 

The products that will have the biggest impact will be plastic milk bottles and packaging for fruit and vegetables, fizzy drinks, water and fruit juices.

Customers will need to adapt their behaviour in order to meet the goal, the supermarket warned. 

For example, Sainsbury’s said it is reviewing options such as the introduction of refillable bottles, introducing a returnable milk bottle scheme or offering a reusable jug with milk in a lightweight plastic pouch. 

Water-fountains will be introduced at 326 stores across the country and customers are encouraged to bring their own containers to meat and deli counters. 

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: “We have set ourselves a bold ambition because we understand that we urgently need to reduce our impact on the planet and to help drive change across our industry.

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“Reducing plastic and packaging is not easy. Packaging plays a vital role in keeping our food safe and fresh and minimising food waste. 

“We must therefore find alternatives to plastic that protect the quality of our food while minimising our impact on the environment.”

Main image credit: Getty