Waitrose is cutting plastic by introducing punnets made using tomato vines for some of its tomatoes. The punnets - which combine dried vines with recycled cardboard - will be used for the supermarket’s Duchy Organic tomatoes. The environmentally-friendly packaging puts the by-product of tomatoes to good use as the vine and leaves would otherwise be wasted.
Following a successful trial in 2017, Waitrose Duchy cherry tomatoes on the vine will be in the tomato leaf and recycled cardboard tray from mid-June. The remaining four Waitrose Duchy tomato lines will be in the new brown packaging from the end of July.
The packaging is created in a complex process using the latest technology, that joins together dried tomato leaf and recycled cardboard pulp. The cutting-edge packaging is widely recyclable and replaces the previous plastic punnets.
Nicola Waller, Head of Fresh Produce at Waitrose, said: ‘‘We're serious about looking for alternative packaging materials. This uses materials which would otherwise be wasted which can only be a good thing. ‘We will ensure that all our own-label packaging is widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable or home compostable by 2025 - and looking for alternative forms of packaging is part of this process”
Another recent Waitrose packaging innovation 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 per cent and lowers greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent.
The supermarket is also using alternative materials for its Waitrose Duchy Organic eggs made from a mixture of rye grass and recycled paper. This saves 77 tonnes of wood and paper each year and uses 60 per cent less water to produce than conventional egg packaging.
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