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Waitrose to ban black plastic packaging by 2019

UK retailer Waitrose has unveiled plans to ban the use of black plastic packaging by 2019, in a bid to reduce the use of plastics.

The company has already eliminated 65% of black plastic from its fruit and vegetable packaging.

Waitrose is planning to drop the use of black plastic for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables by the end of 2018.

Black plastic used for food such as ready meals and puddings cannot be recycled as lasers used by waste processors are unable to sense the color effectively.

Waitrose is also not selling any product containing microbeads from September 2016. It has also ceased the selling of own-label plastic-stem cotton buds from the same period.

Waitrose sustainability and responsible sourcing head Tor Harris said: “Tackling the use of plastics across our business is a key priority for us and we have committed that all our packaging will be widely recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2025.

“Our work to eliminate black plastic packaging from our shops sees us taking a step towards accomplishing this.

In October 2017, Waitrose started trialing a new environmentally friendly pack that is expected to signal the end of plastic packaging for organic tomatoes.

A new form of non-plastic punnet which uses tomato leaves is being experimented to help package tomatoes.

By using advanced technology, Waitrose created the new packaging by combining dried tomato leaf and recycled cardboard pulp.

In July 2017, Waitrose announced the introduction of new triangular sandwich wrappers, which can be easily recycled and reused.

Image: The retailer will stop using black plastic for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. Photo: courtesy of Waitrose.