Sainsbury’s becomes first grocer to scrap plastic bags on fruit, veg and bakery

High street grocer Sainsbury’s has today committed to cutting a further 1,284 tonnes of plastic by scrapping bags on loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items.

From September, customers buying ‘pick your own’ items, such as apples and bananas, will either have to bring their own bags or buy a re-usable bag made from recycled materials. Paper bags will be available to customers for loose bakery items.

Sainsbury’s has previously implemented measures that are already leading to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and “virgin plastic” every year.

The latest changes are part of efforts bring this total to over 10,000 tonnes and ensuring all packaging is reusable, recyclable and compostable by 2025.

Sainsbury’s will also remove plastic cutlery from stores as well as:

plastic trays for asparagus and sweetcorn (144 tonnes)
plastic lids from cream pots (114 tonnes)
plastic trays for tomatoes (102 tonnes)
plastic trays for carrots (38 tonnes)
plastic sleeves from herb pots (18 tonnes)
The company has also committed to replace:

black plastic trays with recyclable alternatives (6000 tonnes)
plastic film on fruit and vegetables with a recyclable alternative (2518 tonnes)
PVC and polystyrene trays with recyclable alternatives (1213 tonnes)
plastic trays for eggs with a fibre alternative (341 tonnes)
plastic cutlery for takeaway food with wooden alternatives (38 tonnes)
Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said: “We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores. Our customers expect us to be leading the way on major issues like this, so I am determined to remove and replace plastic packaging where we can and offer alternatives to plastic where packaging is still required to protect a product.”

Sainsbury’s recently made a pledge to end the use of dark coloured plastics across fresh foods by the end of 2019 and entirely by March 2020.

Today, Sainsbury’s also confirmed that black plastic trays will be replaced with recyclable alternatives by the end of the year, with black ready-meal trays replaced within the next two months.