WAITROSE has announced it is to use Prevented Ocean Plastic packaging across 71 of its own-label products.
The packaging is produced by Sharpak, with Bantam Materials supplying the plastic. The not-for-profit business recently announced that it has prevented 20,000 tonnes of plastic from entering the world’s oceans and waterways in just over a year.
The supermarket estimates that it will utilise 100 tonnes of Prevented Ocean Plastic across the planned ranges in its first year, which the retailer said is the equivalent of saving four million plastic bottles from entering the ocean.
It will at first be used across 13 lines of Waitrose own-brand ready meals, with it being expanded to the likes of fruit, veg, family and health lines before extending it further in the future.
Marija Rompani, director of ethics and sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, commented, “It’s estimated that 90% of the plastic in our oceans comes from just 10 rivers around the world, with coastal regions in Southeast Asia identified as being at particular risk.
“Our customers have told us they want to see more packaging made from recycled content on our shelves and with vast amounts of plastic already in the world, we are committed to repurposing where we can and using more sustainable options. There is more to do but we hope that by using more Prevented Ocean Plastics in our packaging, we can be part of the solution to this hugely significant global issue.”
Ben Tingley, product and business development lead at the Prevented Ocean Plastic research centre, added, “World Ocean Day is a moment for our industry and community to come together to progress fully traceable ocean plastic prevention and bring recycled plastic into products on shelves.
“We can already see the significant impact this is having not only on our oceans but also to the communities that live in coastal areas most affected by plastic pollution. We therefore hope other businesses will follow in the footsteps of retailers like Waitrose and commit to using more Prevented Ocean Plastic in their packaging to give customers a better plastic choice when making day to day shopping decisions.”