Circular Economy. UK supermarket chain tests “packaging-free shopping”


Circular Economy. UK supermarket chain tests “packaging-free shopping”

Thomas Reiner | 05.08.2019

The British supermarket chain Waitrose has started a test run for “packaging-free shopping”. Customers have the opportunity to fill pasta, coffee, loose cereal products but also frozen fruit in their own, brought containers.

Waitrose & Partners is a chain of British supermarkets owned by the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest retailer.
Under the label “Waitrose Unpacked”, the supermarket chain is testing the willingness of consumers to dispense with plastic packaging in their supermarket in Oxford.

  • A “refillable zone” has been set up in the Waitrose supermarket in Oxford. Here, customers can fill the products from large containers into their own containers.
  • Alternatively, Waitrose’s “borrow-a-box” offer offers a reusable solution for customers who shop without their own containers.
  • Part of the unpacked campaign is also the company’s first “pick ‘n’ mix” section for frozen fruit.

The test run at the Waitrose supermarket in Oxford runs until 18 August. If successful, the company plans to extend the offer to its other supermarkets.

According to Greenpeace, 810,000 tonnes of disposable packaging are produced annually in British supermarkets. Waitrose hopes to use its initiative to save several thousand tons of plastic waste per year.