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British supermarkets are doing their part to be more environmentally aware by reducing the amount of single-use plastic used in their products. In turn, this will decrease plastic pollution on both a national and global scale.
Aldi, Co-op, and Sainsbury’s are the latest supermarkets to announce a reduction of single-use plastic to help save the planet.
The supermarkets will trial a move that could remove millions of pieces of unrecyclable plastics from products every year.
They are set to make their sandwiches range fully recyclable.
The supermarkets have partnered with supplier Greencore to create plastic-free packaging for their sandwiches.
The packaging will be 100 percent paper-based and feature a plastic-free window.
The new design will hit shelves in some Aldi, Co-op, and Sainsbury’s branches across the UK from September.
Starting off as a trial, if the initiative is successful, it will be rolled out to more stores later in the year.
The supermarkets collaborated with flexible manufacturer ProAmpac to create the new packaging, which took 18 months of research and development.
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The research showed that some customers struggle to separate a sandwich’s outer packaging from the plastic film in order to recycle it.
With the new packaging, shoppers will be able to put the whole skillet in the recycling bin without worrying about non-recyclable parts.
According to Greencore, around 600 million pre-packed sandwiches are consumed every year in the UK.
This means that millions of pieces of non-recyclable plastic get thrown away annually.
If the move was introduced across all its own-brand sandwiches, Aldi said it could result in the removal of 23.8 million pieces of unrecyclable plastic and 29.8 tonnes of single-use plastic every year.
The discount retailer’s plastics and packaging director, Richard Gorman, said: “We are looking at every product we sell to see if there are ways we can remove plastic packaging or replace it with recyclable alternatives.
“Food to go is one of our most popular categories and we are confident this initiative will be well received by our customers.”
Co-op is another supermarket hoping to roll out the new packaging to stores in September.
The company’s director of delicious food, Breige Donaghy, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing the new packaging on shelves this autumn and are confident it will resonate with our members and customers.”
Sainsbury’s is also doing its bit to be more environmentally friendly and has plans to halve all plastic packaging by 2025.
Claire Hughes, the supermarket’s director of product, packaging, and innovation, said: “Our customers want tasty, great quality food they can enjoy on the go, which is also better for the planet.
“We are pleased to be trialling this innovative new sandwich packaging with Greencore and helping our customers reduce plastic when they shop with us.”
Greencore Head of Sustainability, Andy Wright, also commented on the move. He said: “Consumers are increasingly aware not just of the importance of their own health but also of the impact their food has on the health of the planet.
“Developing a fully recyclable sandwich skillet is one of the key ways we can reduce waste and help our customers do their bit to protect the environment.”
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