Waitrose& Partners are removing all single-use grocery bags from their stores by spring 2019, and 5p carrier bags by March 2019, saving 134 million plastic bags – the equivalent of 500 tonnes of plastic.
The move sees them become the first retailer to announce the removal of all plastic bags, and will replace the bags with compostable alternatives. The new bags are going to be trialled before being rolled out nationwide next year. The new bags are expected to look the same as the current ones, but will declare their biodegradable status.
Consumers can use the bags in food caddies, put them in home compost bins, or they will breakdown in landfill sites.
Waitrose & Partners will remove plastic bags in selected stores, commencing today, as a way of managing the changeover as efficiently as possible, with customers being made aware of the new bags.
This switch to biodegradable bags cements the retailer’s commitment to improving their environmental footprint, and reduces its level of plastic use. Black plastic will no longer be used on their own label products after 219 and make all packaging on own-brand items recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025.
Tor Harris, head of CSR, health and agriculture for Waitrose, said: “The removal of these bags will change the way our customers, many of whom have been asking us to do this, shop with us in the future. We know we still have a lot to do, but as with our commitment to removing takeaway disposable cups earlier this year, this represents another major step forward in reducing our use of plastics.”