UK supermarket chain Waitrose launched a new scheme of “bring your own” to encourage customers to buy and refill produce.
The supermarket chain, which is part of John Lewis & Partners is going to start selling items such as cereals, pasta, coffee and rice in large dispensers as part of the concept, in the hope of reducing waste from plastic packaging.
Not only this but alcohol and cleaning products will also be available through dispensers. According to Independent.co.uk, ‘’The trial will run for 11 weeks in the Botley Road store in Oxford.’’
‘’If deemed successful, the concept will be rolled out to the supermarket’s other shops around the UK.’’
Tor Harias who is the head of corporate social responsibility for Waitrose said the project has “huge potential to shape how people might shop with us in the future”.
“We are determined to build on the work we’ve already done to reduce packaging – and this test will take our efforts to a whole new level as we help the growing number of customers who want to shop in a more sustainable way.”
Ariana Densham who is an oceans campaigner for Greenpeace UK called the move “bold.”
“Lots of supermarkets are starting to sell loose fruit and vegetables, but this kind of innovation could spark a refill culture that’s so desperately needed to cut plastics in mainstream shops,” she added.
“The top 10 UK supermarkets produce 810,000 tonnes of throwaway packaging each year, so we need to see other major retailers taking plastic reduction seriously and following Waitrose’s lead.”
According to Waitrose, the unpacked concept includes:
“Produce unpacked – 160 loose fruit and vegetable products will be available at the store – the most loose fruit and vegetable lines offered by any national supermarket.
- Frozen pick and mix – Frozen mango, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, pineapple and raspberries are packaging free and will be available as pick and mix.
- Plastic removed from flowers and plants – Plastic wrap has been removed from all flowers and indoor plants and replaced with 100% recyclable and 100% PEFC certified craft paper.
- Detergent and washing up liquid refillable – Waitrose & Partners is the first supermarket to partner with Ecover and provide an automatic detergent and washing up liquid dispenser where customers will be able to refill their reusable Ecover containers.
- Wine and beer refillable – Four different wines and four different beers available on tap to take home in reusable bottles to cut down on the use of glass bottles.
- Coffee refills – Customers can grind one of four coffees in store to take home in a reusable container to reduce glass and plastic packaging.
- Essential refillable – 28 products including pasta, rice, grains, couscous, lentils, cereals, dried fruit and seeds have been taken out of packaging and will be available through dispensers
- Borrow-a-box scheme – In a UK first, shoppers can borrow-a-box from store to shop with and then take home before returning on their next visit.
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