We've announced new commitments aimed at reducing plastic waste, setting clear targets around increasing the amount of recycled materials used within our own-brand packaging, with a target of 50% by 2025.
- 100% of packaging will be widely recyclable, reusable, refillable or renewable by 2025
- 50% of packaging will be made from recycled materials by 2025
- By 2022, the amount of plastic packaging will be reduced by 20%
Having removed single-use bags from our stores last year, we’re now ready to go a step further, announcing that from the end of 2018, we will only offer 9p ‘bags-for-life’, removing all 5p reusable plastic bags from our stores. This will remove 67 million bags and 134 tonnes of plastic each year.
To ensure that topics such as food waste also remain a priority, our plastic reduction strategy is centred around a progressive circular programme, aiming to drive demand for recycled materials and more widely adopt renewable materials and reuse systems, helping to prevent plastic from ending up as waste. A Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is one of the many initiatives we’re considering as part of this. Our other commitments include a 20% reduction in plastic packaging by 2022, and 100% of own-brand packaging becoming widely recyclable, reusable, refillable or renewable by 2025. We will also become one of the founding members of WRAP’s new UK Plastic Pact, bringing together all stakeholders across the plastics packaging value chain, which is soon to be launched. Christian, our CEO said to media: “We’re proud of our clear, ambitious targets for the reduction of plastic waste. We have looked at plastic packaging in the context of our wider sustainability commitments and strongly believe that our circular approach will deliver a long-term solution.” “We want to create a major shift in the way that packaging and plastics are used, to ensure that these resources are recovered and retained, eradicating plastic waste and moving us towards a truly circular system in the long term. We know our business and the wider industry needs to take big steps to achieve this; that's why we have set clear and ambitious targets, not only to ensure that our packaging is completely recyclable, but that we are driving demand for this material by driving recycled content.” These commitments build on our strong track record on plastic reduction, which we have long been committed to. We were one of the first retailers in the UK to encourage customers to re-use their shopping bags and have charged for plastic carrier bags for the last 24 years for this reason. This commitment was further reinforced in 2017 through the removal of all single-use bags from our stores. In the same year, we made some strong positive steps ahead of legislation by eradicating microbeads from all cosmetic and household products, and have committed to only selling packs of paper straws, along with the removal of plastic-stemmed cotton buds, which have been replaced with biodegradable stems. Additionally, we have one of the highest proportions of loose fruit and vegetables of all British supermarkets, and continue to test and trial the removal of packaging throughout the range, whilst ensuring that food waste is kept to a minimum.