Waitrose & Partners will remove children's magazines with disposable toys as giveaways from its product offering as part of its efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastics.
The retailer was inspired to act after hearing about the campaign by a 10-year-old girl from Gwynedd to persuade publishers to end the practice.
Many children's magazines offer free plastic toys which have a very short lifespan and cannot be easily recycled.
Waitrose's initiative will not impact educational or reusable craft items, such as colouring pencils and pens or collectable models.
Waitrose will remove these magazines from its stores over the next eight weeks and plans to contact publishers to ask them to replace plastic toys with more sustainable alternatives.
Marija Rompani, partner and director of ethics and sustainability at Waitrose, said, "While we know these magazines are popular with children, some of the unnecessary plastic attached to them has become really excessive.
"Many in the younger generation really care about the planet and are the ones inheriting the problem of plastic pollution. We urge publishers to find alternatives and other retailers to follow our lead in ending the pointless plastic that comes with children's magazines."
In 2019, the retailer also announced that it would stop selling Christmas crackers containing plastic toys from this year as part of its strategy to cut down on single-use plastic.
Crackers sold by the retailer are now filled with toys made from recyclable materials and do not contain plastic glitter.
Waitrose is tackling single-use plastic across its entire business and is on track to make all own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable, or home compostable by 2023.
The chain recently ranked first in Greenpeace's annual league table, for the second year in a row, which looks at how supermarkets reduce the use of single-use plastics.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.