Our prestigious packaging compliance member Waitrose & Partners are trialling a new plastic-free way of packaging products called ‘Unpacked’. This new system aims to work with customers to reduce the amount of single-use plastic being used and test how customers respond to this new way of shopping.
The eleven-week trial is currently taking place in their Oxford Botley Road store, where customers are encouraged to purchase a range of fruit, vegetables and other products such as pasta, beer and frozen fruit using their own containers. Containers of all materials, weights and sizes are welcome and as such customers are able to decide how much of each product they need. In addition to reducing the amount of single use plastic used in the store, it is likely to also reduce the amount of food waste customers later produce. Customers may purchase containers in store if they do not have their own to hand and myWaitrose members can borrow containers for a small deposit.
If the trial is successful with customers responding well to the scheme, ‘Unpacked’ could be made a feature in stores across the United Kingdom, which would be a positive step forward in the war against the current usage of single use plastic. The scheme would also assist Waitrose in making great strides in meeting their target to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging in their stores by 2025. This was set as part of their commitment to the UK Plastics pact which they signed up to last year (read our news story here for full details about the pact).
It is no secret that supermarkets in the United Kingdom are trying to cut down on their consumption of single-use plastic, with many big names such as Asda and Tesco scraping the sale of 5p plastic bags in favour of their ‘bag for life alternatives’. However, in order to make significant progress in the movement away from plastic more drastic measures are required. With this in mind, Waitrose could be the brave trendsetters, creating a new way of food shopping for consumers that if successful could be used as a blueprint to help the industry achieve their ambitious aim of eliminating single-use plastic from our everyday shopping experience.
Read more here on what Waitrose had to say about working with us.