Sainsbury’s becomes first retailer to reduce plastic packaging in fresh flowers in 167 stores

Sainsbury’s is launching a new trial this week which, it claims, makes it the first UK retailer to reduce plastic packaging in fresh floral ranges on a large scale.
The 12-week trial, which runs into December in 167 stores, marks another step towards the supermarket chain achieving its commitment to reduce plastics by 50% by 2025 across all Sainsbury’s food operations.
Plastic sleeves will be removed from more than one million fresh floral bunches and bouquets and replaced with recyclable paper packaging during the trial, saving over 10 tonnes of plastic. The sticky tape used to secure the wrapping will also be replaced with recyclable paper tape.
Sainsbury’s has worked with its suppliers to ensure that paper wrapping is introduced at the point of manufacture, rather than plastic wrapping being removed from the flowers and replaced with paper.
Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury’s Brand, said: “Our customers have made it clear that they want us to reduce plastic packaging. This initiative is very much a testing and learning activity for us, so we will be seeking feedback from customers as well as getting a better understanding of how our supply chain manages the new packaging throughout.”
Sainsbury’s will closely monitor the supply chain process and customer feedback over the next 12 weeks to assess the overall performance of the trial before making a decision on next steps.”
Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s says it is the first retailer to launch a ‘pre-cycling’ scheme across England and Scotland, allowing customers to deposit their unwanted plastic packaging before leaving the store. This initiative offers customers dedicated recycle bins in stores and aims to recycle up to 1,000 items per day in each store through the scheme.

This scheme is an initial trial in 15 stores:
• Hedge End
• Marsh Mills
• Plymouth
• Bodmin
• Braehead
• Exeter
• Bude
• Heaton Park
• Salford
• Hazel Grove
• Fallowfield
• Lincoln
• London Colney
• Welwyn Garden City
• Hertford

In addition, Sainsbury’s is launching the following initiatives over the coming weeks:
removing plastic bags from its bakery sections after a successful trial in three stores, removing 26 tonnes; removing plastic bags from fresh produce departments – plastic bags will be replaced with reusable produce bags, removing 480 tonnes per year; removing all plastic bags from online grocery deliveries from the start of October; replacing hard-to-recycle black plastic with more easily recyclable natural CPET trays in all chilled ready meals, which is set to save 180 tonnes of plastic; and launching an exclusive partnership with Tefal to encourage customers to recycle used kitchenware in 333 stores.

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