Sainsbury’s Becomes the First UK Retailer to Ditch Plastic for Paper Packaging
Sainsbury’s has taken a significant step in the battle against plastic waste by announcing its transition from plastic to paper packaging for its entire range of own-brand toilet paper and kitchen towels. This eco-conscious move is expected to result in a reduction of 485 tonnes of plastic annually, equivalent to over 55 million pieces of plastic. It represents the largest reduction of plastic use within the retailer’s grocery business to date.
The rollout of the new paper packaging will encompass 27 different products, and customers will start to notice the change both in stores and online starting this week. By February next year, all product lines will have adopted the recyclable paper packaging, which can be conveniently recycled at home through kerbside recycling programs.
This packaging shift follows Sainsbury’s introduction of double-length toilet rolls last year, which significantly reduced plastic packaging by 30%. This change alone has saved 84 tonnes of plastic every year.
Claire Hughes, Director of Product and Innovation at Sainsbury’s, emphasized the impact of this transition, saying, “We sell thousands of our own-brand toilet tissue and kitchen roll products every week, and by switching from plastic to paper on these household staples, we’re able to make a significant impact in reducing plastic. This change alone represents the biggest plastic reduction in our grocery products so far, and our customers can expect many more changes to come. Collaborating with our suppliers to develop innovative packaging solutions to reduce plastic is a major key priority for Sainsbury’s, helping us to achieve our ambitious target of increasing recycled content and recyclability.”
In addition to the packaging change, Sainsbury’s has recently passed on over £4 million worth of savings directly to customers by reducing the prices of selected own-brand toilet paper and kitchen towels. These price cuts are part of the company’s commitment to maintaining affordable prices for essential household products.
This packaging transition is just one of the sustainability initiatives Sainsbury’s has undertaken this year to reduce plastic waste. Last month, the retailer became the first in the UK to replace plastic babywear hangers with cardboard, saving 103 tonnes of plastic annually. Sainsbury’s also made the switch from plastic to cardboard cartons for its own-brand laundry detergent earlier this year, resulting in a reduction of 22 tonnes of plastic annually.