Waitrose Launches Packaging-Free Trial To Reduce Plastic Waste

The retailer is starting the trial in one of its Oxford stores this week. Products at the refill station will include cereal, rice, wine, beer, and cleaning products
Waitrose packaging-free trial
The supermarket's 'refill station' (Photo: Waitrose)

UK supermarket Waitrose has launched a trial of packaging-free shopping in a bid to cut down on waste.

The retailer has installed a 'refill station' in its Botley Road shop in Oxford outlets. Customers can take their own containers to fill.

Packaging-free options include pasta, cereal, rice, wine, beer, and cleaning products, and prices are around 15 percent cheaper than the packaged counterparts.

Plastic-free test

"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," Tor Harris, from Waitrose & Partners, said.

"This test has huge potential to shape how people might shop with us in the future so it will be fascinating to see which concepts our customers have an appetite for."

The move has been welcomed by Greenpeace. "Lots of supermarkets are starting to sell loose fruit and vegetables, which is good, but more importantly this kind of innovation could spark a refill culture that's so desperately needed to cut plastics in mainstream shops," Ariana Densham, Greenpeace ocean plastics campaigner, said.

Waitrose refill station
Frozen fruit is also on offer (Waitrose)

Plastic bags

Last year Waitrose announced it would be ditching plastic bags by Spring 2019.

As well as ditching 5p bags, the supermarket pledged to replace its small fruit and veg bags with a compostable version, made from corn starch.

According to the store, this will save 500 tons of plastic a year - around 134 million bags. The phase-out will start in a limited number of outlets next month.

Reducing plastic

Tor Harris, Waitrose's Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Health and Agriculture, 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."

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of Plant Based News delivered to your inbox weekly.
------
PBN Academy launches with a selection of simple courses on health and wellness, how to rise a child vegan, reversing type-2 diabetes with diet and more. Join free today

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Reuse this content
PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

(c) 2019 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved. Content must not be copied without permission.

Join the conversation

Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.

It's World Vegan Day