Supermarkets up their game on plastic


Waitrose has launched a £1 million competition for projects to tackle plastic pollution, while M&S has unveiled plans to take back waste plastic and turn it into playground equipment.

Waitrose & Partners’ Plan Plastic - The Million Pound Challenge will award grants of £150,000 to £300,000, over one year, to winning projects in collaboration with environmental charity Hubbub.

Hubbub has previously been involved in several waste reduction initiatives across the UK, including a project in Manchester that collected 30,000 difficult-to-recycle coffee cups and turned them into new plastic products.

Trewin Restorick, chief executive and founder of Hubbub, said: “Waitrose’s new grant fund is tremendously exciting as it will support innovative thinking on how to combat the issue of plastic pollution.”

The £1 million fund was raised through sales of 5p plastic bags, which Waitrose plans to phase out in entirety by March 2019.

Recycling non-recyclables

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer has launched a new initiative to prevent plastic waste from going to landfill by teaming up with the Dow Chemical Company.

Customers will be able to drop a variety of ‘non-recyclable’ packaging into special bins in M&S stores, to be collected and re-processed into store fittings, furniture and playground equipment for schools.

The bins will be rolled out to M&S stores nationwide by the end of 2019, as well as selected primary schools in collaboration with waste education social enterprise, Wastebuster.

‘Truly circular economy’

Laura Fernandez, senior packaging technologist at M&S, said: “As a business, we’re committed to reducing the amount of plastic we use, and we have already started phasing out non-recyclable packaging from our products. As we continue to work towards our plastic reduction goals, we want to go a step further.

“Customers often don’t know how best to recycle certain types of plastic or where it goes after being collected by local councils. We’re on a mission to provide greater awareness of landfill avoidance and plastic recyclability, while ultimately helping our customers to give plastic a new purpose and support a truly circular economy.”



Posted under Food and Drink, Public / Government / Charity and Waste and Recycling on 6 February 2019