Sainsbury’s, the third largest supermarket chain in the U.K., will begin by cutting a whopping 489 tonnes of plastic bags that are used for produce and bakery items.
After the switch, paper bags will be available for bakery items and customers will be encouraged to bring their own reusable bags for produce or have the opportunity to buy one—made from recycled materials—in the store.
Customers can also bring their own reusable containers to the fresh food counters.
— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) June 18, 2019
Measures like this one aren’t new to Sainsbury’s. The supermarket chain has already implemented strategies that have led to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes of “virgin” and non-recyclable plastics each year. After the new measures go into effect, the store will remove over 10,000 tonnes of plastic from its supply chain.
Sainsbury’s has committed to using only reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging in its over 14,000 stores by 2025. The use of dark plastics—which are either difficult or impossible to recycle, despite labeling indicating otherwise—will be entirely phased out by March 2020.
Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s 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.”