Waitrose launches packaging free trial in the fight against plastic waste

Waitrose customers will be able to use their own containers to buy and refill various produce items such as cereal and pasta. The supermarket chain says it will be the first to offer “pick and mix” frozen fruit. A trial is taking place in the Botley Road store, Oxford, with hundreds of products taken out of their packaging. There will also be double to amount of fruit and vegetables offered package free.

Waitrose want to help the growing number of customers who want to shop in a more sustainable way

Tor Harris, Waitrose

Wine and beer refills will also be offered, as will Ecover detergent and washing up liquid.

In another innovative move, customers will be able to “borrow a box” to take their produce home.

The box will be offered for a £5 refundable deposit, which will be given back when the box is returned.

In a move sure to please customers, products in the unpacked refill stations will be up to 15 percent cheaper.

Tor Harris, head of corporate social responsibility for Waitrose, said the chain wanted to “help the growing number of customers who want to shop in a more sustainable way”.

She 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.”

Ariana Densham, ocean plastics campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “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.”

This is the latest in a series of moves by British supermarkets to reduce the impact they have on the environment.

Last month, Morrisons started selling paper bags in all its stores, while Co-op offers compostable bags instead of single use plastic bags in some stores.

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