UK-based supermarket chain Sainsbury's is set to replace plastic bags with paper and re-usable bags made from recycled materials for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items.


Image: Sainsbury’s has committed to cut a further 1,284 tonnes of plastic this year. Photo: courtesy of Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s said that it will avoid the use of plastic bags for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items across its stories, as part of its commitment to curb a further 1,284 tonnes of plastic this year following existing commitments to remove 1,280 tonnes.

The supermarket chain intends to remove 489 tonnes’ worth of plastic bags, which are presently used for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items.

Sainsbury’s plans to use paper bags for loose bakery items by September, while an option will be provided for customers to either bring their own bags or buy a re-usable bag for loose fruit and vegetables.

Earlier, Sainsbury’s has implemented measures, which is helping to curb 8,101 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and virgin plastic every year. The supermarkets operator’s latest efforts will help expand it to more than 10,000 tonnes.

The UK-based firm said that the latest efforts are in addition to its commitments to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Sainsbury’s is also planning to remove plastic cutlery from stores, and also plastic trays for asparagus and sweetcorn, plastic lids from cream pots, plastic trays for tomatoes, plastic trays for carrots and plastic sleeves from herb pots.

It has also committed to replace black plastic trays with recyclable alternatives, plastic film on fruit and vegetables with a recyclable alternative, PVC and polystyrene trays with recyclable alternatives, plastic trays for eggs with a fibre alternative and plastic cutlery for takeaway food with wooden alternatives.

Sainsbury’s has also pledged to avoid the use of dark coloured plastics across fresh foods by the end of this year and completely by March 2020.

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe 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.”