Waitrose’s way forward for packaging waste reduction

Waitrose is cutting packaging and championing sustainability as part of a Corporate Social Responsibility agenda – which is at the heart of Recycling Lives’ activities!

The supermarket chain has recently launched the “Waitrose Way”, a set of pledges setting out its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.

Its Head of Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing, Quentin Clark, said:

“As a nation we’re getting busier, and lack of time means we need to be able to trust the retailer we are using. So when creating these pledges we made sure the emphasis was on how we we’re being part of the solution, now and in the future – we want it to be really easy for our customers to know we’re doing the right thing.”

The company’s pledges include a commitment to halve its 2005 level of packaging by 2016. To do this, it is reducing the sleeve width on its prepared meals, increasing the size of the clear window in its sandwich packaging, and pre-printing bags for fruit portions, so there is no need for a label. Plastic trays will also be removed from meat packaging.

These measures will reduce Waitrose’s production of packaging by as much as 100 tonnes per year.

The chain’s Packaging and Reprographics Manager, Karen Graley, said:

“We are always working hard to reduce packaging where we can, to decrease the waste reaching our customers’ bins and ensure they can recycle as much as possible.

“Re-launching a range is a fantastic opportunity to do this and cutting packaging by nearly 100 tonnes per year is a great result to have achieved on our journey to halving packaging by 2016.”

At Recycling Lives, we welcome the news that Waitrose is implementing measures to improve its sustainability, and we wish the company the best of luck in achieving their aims.

Packaging can be recycled, of course, but it is always better not to produce as much of it in the first place. Even when committed to sustainability, any supermarket chain will still generate a significant amount of waste, and when it needs to be thrown away by consumers, it is vital that it avoids landfill.

Recycling Lives provides full household waste recycling facilities at the Recycling Lives Centre, and can arrange to collect many different types of waste, including packaging, from commercial clients. We have four decades of experience in the waste management industry, so our clients are guaranteed the best possible service and sound advice.

We also run a social welfare charity, which supports homeless people to find work and accommodation. This is a major part of our own Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, which means that we do the best we possibly can for the local community, the economy, and the environment.