Credit: @waitrose/ Twitter

Major UK Supermarket Takes Drastic Steps To Combat Plastic Pollution

by | June 6, 2019

A major supermarket in the United Kingdom has taken a monumental step in its quest to fight the ever-threatening bane of plastic pollution. Such is reportedly the first-in-kind adopted by any supermarket of this status. Waitrose is unveiling an innovative refill option (among others), and it will be tested at their Oxford store. Sounds intriguing? Know more here.

plastic pollution
By Ceri Breeze/ Shutterstock

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Waitrose’s Bold and Sustainable Step to Combat Plastic Pollution

You’ve heard news of supermarkets ditching plastic packaging from a lot of their products, but have you seen a supermarket decide to go completely plastic free? By completely, I mean it! One of the UK’s major grocery stores and supermarkets, Waitrose, has recently unveiled the refill section at their Oxford location. This is a part of their ‘Unpacked’ trial. As simple as it sounds, the step will have positive far-reaching consequences if it goes mainstream.

Credit: @waitrose/ Twitter

There is now a dedicated section at Waitrose’s Oxford location where customers will be able to refill a number of their daily needed items like wine, beer, coffee, and rice for example. This comes from a series of dispensers, in their own containers, reports the Guardian. The ‘Unpacked’ initiative is the first achieved by any major UK supermarket. The goal is to entirely, and not partially, ditch plastic.

Credit: @waitrose/ Twitter

However, this is currently in the trial phase at their Oxford location only. Starting this week, customers will be able to take the pleasure of refiling their tubs, jars, and containers (basically anything they want) with fresh refills from the dispensers, set in-store. Even better – the prices are reportedly down by 15% as opposed to the cost of packaged products.

Not only do you have the freedom to bring your own containers, but Waitrose will also offer a “borrow-a-box” program, which will cost £5 refundable deposit, the Guardian reports. Waitrose is testing this retail experiment at their Botley Road shop. Also, a ‘pick and mix’ frozen fruit range is part of the trial.

Credit: @waitrose/ Twitter

According to the Guardian’s report, a total of 160 fruits and veggies and other products will be available to take home in self-procured containers. There will also be a range of 48 other options like grains, pasta, cereals, lentils, dried fruits, etc., all of which can be dispensed in containers.

Indeed a Monumental Step!

Undoubtedly, this is an aggressive step to fight plastic pollution. Greenpeace UK Ocean Campaigner, Ariana Densham, stated such innovation is potential to ignite a ‘refill culture’ which is in desperate need to “cut plastics in mainstream shops.” She added-

By Amani A/ Shutterstock

“This is a genuinely bold step from Waitrose to trial food dispensers so customers can use refillable tubs and jars.”

Ariana Densham via the guardian.com

Isn’t this a brilliant step to fight plastic pollution? How nice it would feel, when shopping at innovative places like Waitrose, to buy a daily essential like grains, lentils, or even beer, and know we are not adding to the growing pollution issue? Let me know your thoughts in comments.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]

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