Reducing the use of plastics is a top priority for Waitrose, which has already removed 65 per cent of black plastic from its fruit and vegetable packaging. The retailer will stop using black plastic for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables by the end of 2018. Currently a great deal of black plastic used by supermarkets for food such as ready meals and puddings cannot be recycled as lasers used by waste processors cannot sense the colour effectively. This means they are not identified for recycling. Tor Harris, Head of Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing at Waitrose, says: “Tackling the use of plastics across our business is a key priority for us and we have committed that all our packaging will be widely recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2025. Our work to eliminate black plastic packaging from our shops sees us taking a step towards accomplishing this. ‘‘Not many people realise that black plastic is tough to recycle. As a retailer dedicated to reducing the impact of plastic packaging on the environment, becoming black plastic free across all our own label products is the right thing to do.’’ Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP, says: “Plastic packaging has a vital job to preserve and protect products, particularly food. However, we all have a role to play to reduce problematic plastic packaging that cannot currently be recycled. Waitrose’s commitment is a positive step and supports the aims of our new plastics initiative, which will see the entire plastics supply chain working holistically to create a system where plastic is valued and never becomes waste.”

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