Sainsbury’s becomes the first UK supermarket to ban plastic on loose fruit, vegetables & bakery items.

You may have seen a lot of headlines stating that Sainsbury’s is banning plastic on fruit, vegetables and bakery items. However, you need to read the small print not just click bait headlines.


sainsburys fruit and veg


Sainsbury’s aren’t banning all plastic but offering paper bags on loose items. While it isn’t a total victory I can’t criticise given the belief of One Change Now. It’s a big step and this apparently will reduce their plastic as a business by 489 tonnes. That’s a lot of single use plastic gone. We can also hope other supermarkets will follow suit bringing this down even further.

Sainsbury’s will offer paper bags for loose items, essentially we’re going back to the way it used to be. It doesn’t seem ground breaking but at least common sense has won.

Bigger and long term changes include reducing packaging for prepacked fruit and vegetables. Such as trays, both black plastic and polystyrene, plastic egg trays, single use cutlery and film around herb pots. I’ve personally started growing my own, you can read how simple it is here: Grow your own herbs at home. Since this blog I’ve started washing out glass salsa jars and upcycling them into plant pots for my herbs.

In a study produced by Greenpeace, Sainsbury’s ranked bottom of their plastic league table.

Ariana Densham, ocean plastics campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “We’ve been urging Sainsbury’s to take action on plastics after it came bottom of our supermarket plastics league table last year.


Greenpeace Supemarket plastic league table.jpg


“Sainsbury’s has an annual plastic footprint of nearly 120,000 tonnes, so this pledge to reduce plastics by one per cent is a very small step in the right direction, but nowhere near enough.

“It’s good common sense to get rid of plastic produce bags and bakery bags. We hope to see more measures like this from Sainsbury’s, and we urge them to eliminate unnecessary and unrecyclable plastics by 2020.”

Supermarkets across the UK are listening to consumer demand to reduce plastic. Waitrose has been praised for introducing a trial in Oxford. They’re offering customers to bring their own containers to refill stations. Lets hope the trial is so successful it is rolled out nationally!

As customers we vote with our wallet. If supermarkets see an increase in revenue due to environmentally friendly initiatives, the trial will become permanent and other brands will do the same. By choosing where and how we shop based on environmental issues we can all make One Change Now.


Related blogs:

Plastic free swaps that supermarkets could make today.
12 alternatives to single use plastic.
Benefits of recycling.

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