Waitrose launches refillable zone to reduce packaging waste
Waitrose has launched a trial scheme where packaging has been removed from hundreds of items in-store to enable customers to fill their own containers with products. .
The Waitrose Unpacked initiative at the retailer’s Botley Road store in Oxford includes a dedicated ‘refillable zone’, a frozen food ‘pick and mix’ area and a borrow-a-box scheme.
Refillable options will include everything from wine to beer and cereals to coffees as well as cleaning products.
In addition, Waitrose has removed plastic wrap from its flowers and indoor plants.
The test will run for 11 weeks until 18 August as the supermarket seeks as much feedback as possible. A feedback survey will be available for customers to complete on its website page, and will feature on Twitter and Instagram.
Unpacked produce will include 160 loose fruit and vegetable products and the frozen ‘pick and mix’ offering will feature frozen mango, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, pineapple and raspberries.
Meanwhile, a partnership with Ecover will see detergent and washing up liquid being made available from an automatic detergent and washing up liquid dispenser where customers will be able to refill their reusable Ecover containers.
Tor Harris, head of CSR for Waitrose & Partners, Tor Harris said: “We are determined to build on the work we’ve already done to reduce packaging – and this test will take our efforts to a whole new level as we help the growing number of customers who want to shop in a more sustainable way.
“This test has huge potential to shape how people might shop with us in the future so it will be fascinating to see which concepts our customers have an appetite for. We know we’re not perfect and have more to do, but we believe this is an innovative way to achieve something different.”
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