WAITROSE has ranked first in an annual table measuring the work of UK supermarkets to reduce single-use plastics across its stores and products.
The report, by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace, made note of Waitrose’s absolute plastic reduction of 6.1% since 2017 across its own brand and branded ranges – the lowest plastic use per unit market share of the supermarkets.
Further to this has been the grocer’s launch of its refillable range in some of its stores in 2019 in a bid to test demand from consumers for packaging free shopping. The supermarket has now announced that it is to trial unpacked items in regular aisles of its Wallingford Oxfordshire store – meaning 51 lines in total will be offered.
Waitrose said that the trial will aim to understand whether customers could be persuaded to incorporate shopping for unpacked items into their routine ‘business as usual’ shopping trips, rather than visiting a separate part of the shop.
This trial aims to understand whether customers could be persuaded to incorporate shopping for unpacked items into their routine ‘business as usual’ shopping trips, rather than visiting a separate part of the shop.
James Bailey, Waitrose executive director, said, “We are pleased that Greenpeace’s league table has recognised our efforts to decrease our plastic packaging and pioneer unpacked shopping, but we realise there’s more to do. We know this remains as important to our customers as it does to us so we have continued to explore ways we can do more.
“Waitrose Unpacked requires a fundamental change in shopping behaviour that has been ingrained for years. This next phase will help us to understand if we can make refillable a routine part of customers’ shopping trips that would allow us to roll out unpacked further in the future.”