Waitrose Donates £1 Million In Bag Levy Funds To Tackling Plastic Waste
UK retailer Waitrose has announced it will donate £1 million from carrier bag levy funds to tackling plastic pollution.
The retailer will donate £500,000 of the funds to the Commonwealth Marine Plastics Research and Innovation Challenge Fund, which focusses on supporting research into the issue of plastics in the marine environment, and also aims to prevent the material finding its way into the ocean.
“We’re very pleased to be an early contributor to the Fund and wish it every success in tackling these pressing issues,” said Rob Collins, managing director of Waitrose. “It feels appropriate that our support is coming from carrier bag levy proceeds and will help with the development of solutions to marine plastic pollution.”
It will donate a further £500,000 to the Marine Conservation Society, following a year’s successful partnership with the organisation.
Waitrose has also cleaned nearly 500 beaches and rivers across England since July 2017 as part of its ‘Waitrose Beach and River Clean-Up’ initiative.
The retailer has previously taken several steps to tackle plastic waste. In September 2016 it became the first supermarket to stop selling items containing microbeads and exclusively sells paper stem cotton buds.
The retailer’s cafés offer non-plastic crockery and all drinks stirrers are made out of wood.
It has also recently committed to making all of its private-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable, or home compostable by 2025. Since 2009 it has reduced its overall packaging by nearly 50% and 80% of its packaging is widely recyclable and at the beginning of 2018, it pledged to phase out black plastic packaging by 2019.
The supermarket will remove all takeaway disposable coffee cups from its shops by autumn 2018, saving more than 52 million cups a year.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.