Will Waitrose's plastic-free trial 'weigh up' for their shoppers?
by Char Cross
What's Going On Here?
Waitrose is the first major retailer in the UK to introduce a plastic-free shopping experience, where customers can use their own containers to shop on a refill basis.
What Does This Mean?
As one of the top 10 UK supermarkets contributing to 810,000 tonnes of ‘throwaway packaging’ every year (according to Greenpeace ocean plastics campaigner Ariana Densham), Waitrose is making a bold move to help reduce that number.
Initially, this is only being offered in one store, in Oxford, in an 11-week trial to see if ‘customers will ditch convenient plastic packaging’. Considering that it takes 66 days on average to form a new habit, is this enough time to judge the nation on whether they adapt to a ‘new way’ of shopping?
Why Should We Care?
This isn’t a new way of shopping - just ask your grandparents.
“It is a good indication to all the independent zero waste shops, that we clearly have been noticed!” Jeanette and Tom, Clean Kilo, Birmingham.
Nevertheless, “Just because it can be bought plastic-free, doesn’t mean it was sourced that way” Harriet, Harriet’s of Hove, Sussex. It’s the independents driving the refill revolution who are working towards providing a plastic-free supply chain.
“It’s great they have decided to jump on this very important bandwagon, I just hope they manage it properly” Tammy, Harmless, London.
Wherever you shop, you’d better get those containers at the ready to accompany the reusable shopping bags we’ve all mastered so well ;)
1. This is only one Waitrose in the whole of the UK, but there are plenty of other plastic-free shops! Find your ‘local’ using Zero Waste Near Me.
2. Hold Waitrose to account. How are they sourcing their 'plastic-free' produce? Here is what they have to say on plastic packaging.
3. Frankly, I could go on and on and write so much more than this. So that’s exactly what I will do! Look out for my opinion piece on this in the next few weeks and hear more from the independent Zero Waste shop owners I chat to. If you’d like to have your say and be included in this, please give me a shout on Insta at @charlottes_cupboard.
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