Photo courtesy of M&S

Boldly British recyclable packaging on vine tomatoes hits the mark for M&S

Produce Business report

M&S has given its British Collection vine tomato packaging a beautiful and more sustainable upgrade, switching from plastic sleeves to a recyclable cardboard format.

The new covers feature an open look at the tomatoes on top, with a much smaller film footprint, while the rest of the package is wrapped in the sustainable material and adorned with the UK flag.

The design and development of the cardboard punnet was done by The Reflex Packaging Group in Leicester, which it said was “inspired by traditional sandwich packaging.” Similar forms such as corrugated packaging for fruits from companies such as Sambrailo have been used for several years in the United States. M&S also previously had recyclable packaging on its Mandagold tangerines. It is expecting more citrus to get the cardboard treatments this year.

Nonetheless, this design is one of the more striking on the market and serves a greater good. For M&S, which desires to have all of its packaging be recyclable in three years, by using the Reflex boxes, it gets that much closer to its target of eliminating 1 billion units of plastic wraps by 2027. These new boxes alone will trim will trim 95% of plastic on 8 million units by December.

“At M&S we know our customers are deeply concerned about the environment and rightly expect us to make our products as sustainable as possible,” Andrew Clappen, Technical Director at M&S Food, said. “That’s why we’re exploring recyclable packaging alternatives for our products, which also help us to meet our plastic reduction targets. We want our customers to shop with confidence knowing that the trusted value M&S is famous for means not only delicious, great value and quality produce but a more sustainable choice.”

So what’s in them? M&S said there are three varieties – Piccolo, Pomodolci and Capella – currently available in its supermarkets as well as through Ocado. M&S knows the sweet treats will be hits with consumers and believes the new packaging will be applauded, as well. From its own Family Matters Index survey, nearly two-thirds of families said are concerned about the environment, and 88% want to see more retail grocery turning to recyclable packaging. More than a third are already shopping with plastics in mind.

M&S is taking the 2025 campaign a step further by showcasing “recycling take back units” in more than 500 stores across the UK, where shoppers can dispose of plastic coverings and wrappers.



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