Waitrose is experimenting with a new form of non-plastic punnet which uses tomato leaves.
Created during a high-tech complex process that joins together dried tomato leaves and recycled cardboard pulp, the new style punnets will be used for Waitrose Duchy Organic cherry tomatoes and baby plum tomatoes in selected branches across the UK.
If the trial proves to be a success, the punnets could be rolled out to more Waitrose stores and used for other produce as well, potentially saving the retailer 3.5 million plastic trays a year.
‘‘We are determined to reduce our use of plastic across our business,” says Nicola Waller, head of fresh produce at Waitrose.
‘‘This builds on our commitment to ensure that all our own-label packaging is widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable or home compostable by 2025.
‘‘Since 2009 we’ve reduced overall packaging across all products by nearly 50 percent and are excited about this imaginative way to present our Duchy Organic tomatoes to our customers.’’
Other recent Waitrose packaging innovations include the boxes for Waitrose Red Lentil Pasta and Waitrose Green Pea Pasta which are partly made from pulses. This reduces the use of virgin tree pulp by 15 percent and lowers greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.
The box for Waitrose Duchy Organic eggs is made from a mixture of ryegrass and recycled paper, saving 77 tonnes of wood and paper per year and using 60 percent less water to produce.