Sainsbury’s becomes first UK supermarket to remove plastic bags from fruit, veg and bakery items nationwide

Read Time:   |  6th June 2019

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Sainsbury’s has just become the first UK supermarket to remove plastic bags from its loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items.

sainsbury's removes plastic bags

Sainsbury’s supermarket has announced that it will be removing plastic bags from its fruit, veg and bakery items over the next few months and will be replacing them with paper bags by September in a bid to tackle the damaging effect plastic waste has on the environment.

The retailer predicts the move alone will reduce its plastic output by 489 tonnes, but will also be reducing the amount of plastic it uses for other packaged fresh produce such as removing plastic trays for asparagus, sweetcorn, tomatoes and carrots as well as ditching plastic sleeves from herb pots and plastic lids for cream pots.

Sainsbury’s is also removing non-recyclable plastics from its stores, and plans to eradicate black plastic trays, plastic film on fruit and vegetables, PVC and polystyrene trays, plastic trays for eggs and plastic cutlery.

In a statement, Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said: “We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores.

“Our customers expect us to be leading the way on major issues like this, so I am determined to remove and replace plastic packaging where we can and offer alternatives to plastic where packaging is still required to protect a product.”

sainsbury's removes plastic bags

Plastic-free revolution

Waitrose hit the headlines earlier this week when it announced it would be trialling a ground-breaking “bring your own” container scheme that encourages customers to buy and refill produce in a bid to tackle plastic pollution. The supermarket is allowing customers at it’s Oxford store on Botley Road to purchase a range of products and fresh produce items that are completely free from packaging.

British supermarket Morrisons has also been taking steps to tackle the problem of plastic waste by removing plastic from its fruit and vegetable aisles in 60 stores. In a move that the supermarket claims will save 156 tonnes of plastic each year, the chain will sell 127 varieties of fruit and vegetables and provide customers with recyclable paper bags to keep their produce in.

A London supermarket has also recently taken drastic measures to reduce plastic rubbish by ditching plastic packaging in its mission to become Britain’s first plastic-free supermarket.

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