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Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s aims to slash its plastic waste in half in the next six years.

The UK retailer, which has been slammed in the past for its plastic use, has identified items such as milk cartons, fizzy drink bottles, and fruit juice bottles as being ‘the biggest problems’. 

Sainsbury’s says it will provide updates on the progress it has made regarding plastic waste twice a year – and is considering introducing refillable packaging that customers can return to stores.

According to the Guardian, Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive, said the company ‘urgently needed to reduce its impact on the planet’ – but recognizing eliminating packaging isn’t easy. 

“We must, therefore, find alternatives to plastic that protect the quality of our food while minimizing our impact on the environment,” Coupe added. 

‘Empowering consumers’

The Independent report Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers, praising the supermarket for its ‘efforts to introduce new industry-wide standards’.

“This is a brilliant example of the integral role business has to play in cutting plastic waste, empowering consumers to make more sustainable choices,” Villiers added. 

Single-use plastic

Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s ditched plastic bags for loose fruit, veg, and all bakery items – and introduced reusable bags made from recycled materials. 

The decision was said to cut around 1,284 tonnes of plastic this year, adding to the supermarket’s previously implemented measures that are already leading to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and ‘virgin plastic’ every year.

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.