Waitrose to eliminate single-use plastic bags by spring 2019

UK supermarket chain Waitrose has announced plans to eliminate single-use plastic bags by spring 2019, which currently cost five pence, replacing them with 10 pence reusable bags. The supermarket will also be removing all plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables, instead offering compostable bags that can be placed in home composting or food waste bins.

Tor Harris, Waitrose’s Head of CSR, Health and Agriculture, said: “The removal of these bags will change the way our customers, many of whom have been asking us to do this, shop with us in the future.” This news comes as part of a concerted effort by the company to cut down on its use of disposal items; earlier this year it committed to stop giving out single-use coffee cups in all its stores.

The announcement has been welcomed by campaigners, though a Greenpeace UK spokesperson added that all retailers need to “focus on moving beyond packaging that’s designed to be used once then discarded, rather than swapping one disposable item for another”.