The Waitrose Sustainability Plan – Packaging

The Waitrose Sustainability Plan – Packaging

3 minute read

Here at British Corner Shop, we’re thrilled that our partners at Waitrose are doing some amazing work when it comes to sustainability, so we wanted to share with you some of the great things they’ve been working on! From field to fork, Waitrose is passionate about every step of their products’ journey and are committed to finding new ways to improve the processes where they can.

You can find out more about Waitrose’s sustainability plan here: – however, this week we’re focusing on all thing’s packaging! Waitrose has already reduced packaging by almost 50% since 2009 – so we’re excited to see what more they’re going to do over the next few months! While plastic plays an important role in protecting food, Waitrose has committed to eliminating unnecessary plastic in 5 steps:

Product Packaging

Waitrose Sustainability Plan Packaging

Waitrose is working to reduce packaging where it isn’t needed and simplify it where it is. Their target is to make all their own-brand packaging widely-recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2020. By the end of 2019 (so soon – yippee!), Waitrose will have removed black plastic, which is difficult to recycle from all own-brand products – they’ve already achieved this in meat, fish and poultry and fruit and veg. Where trays are needed to protect delicate fruit and veg, Waitrose has started to move to card alternatives or in the case of Duchy tomatoes, tomato leaf and recycled paper – packing innovation at its finest!

Products Waitrose Use and Sell

Waitrose Sustainability Plan Packaging

It’s not just their own products that Waitrose have their sustainable focus on! They are committed to eliminating unnecessary plastic in the products they use – the likes of carrier bags, coffee cups and cutlery etc. Did you know, Waitrose was the FIRST British supermarket to stop selling products containing microbeads! Single-use plastic straws? Gone.


Waitrose is working with customers to understand which plastic packaging is truly unnecessary without impacting the freshness and quality of produce. They are conducting ongoing research to see where they can use alternative packaging and work with customers to understand which products lend themselves to no packaging’s and which are suited to refills.

Supply Chain

Waitrose Sustainability Plan Packaging

Waitrose signed up to the Global Ghost Gear Imitative in 2018 to help protect marine life and minimise plastic pollution – happy oceans, happy life!  Waitrose is also working with suppliers and farmers to understand where unnecessary plastic is used and reduce it.

Plastic Pollution & Healthy Oceans

Waitrose Sustainability Plan Packaging

Waitrose doesn’t only care about plastic under their direct influence, they want to go beyond this. In 2017/2018, they have donated £1 million to the Marine Conservation Society and £500,000 to the Commonwealth Marine Plastics Research and Innovation Challenge Fund – great work Waitrose! Through JLAB, the John Lewis Partnership’s start-up acceleration hub, Waitrose launched an innovation challenge that focused solely on plastic waste, calling on experts on this issue to find creative ways to significantly reduce plastic waste for Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners. What’s more, Waitrose is putting £1 million from the sale of 5p carrier bags to address other key areas in the plastic life cycle!

If delicious and high-quality food wasn’t enough of a reason to love Waitrose, then the incredible work they do to improve sustainability will certainly do the trick!

Find out more details about Waitrose’s sustainability plan regarding plastic here:

Click to access Waitrose%20Plastics%20Plan%20v2.pdf

Waitrose Sustainability Plan Packaging

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