Sainsbury's becomes the first UK supermarket to get rid of plastic bags

Sainsbury's becomes the first UK supermarket to get rid of plastic bags

Sainsbury's has announced that they have committed to become the first supermarket in the UK to axe plastic bags across all stores. The move is estimated to save 1,284 tonnes of plastic!

Sainsbur's aims to action the plan by September, stating that from then on, paper bags will be available for bakery items, and reusable bags will be available for fresh fruit and vegetables (customers may also bring their own bags). The re-usable bags will be made from recycled materials, helping to remove 489 tonnes of plastic.

The chain also announced that they will rid themselves of plastic cutlery, as well as plastic trays for items such as sweetcorn and asparagus. Plastic lids and plastic sleeves (used for herb pots), will also be abolished.

Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's chief executive, 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.”

Earlier this year, Sainsbury's revealed plans to stop using dark coloured plastics - very difficult to recycle - for fresh food by the end of this year, and then throughout the whole store by March 2020. This week, Sainsbury's announced that dark plastic packaging will be replaced with recycleable alternatives by the end of this year.

Lots of major supermarkets in the UK have made strides towards operating a more eco-friendly business. Waitrose, recently announced the pilot of a refillable station for wine and beer, as well as a 'borrow a box' scheme.


Emma Richardson