Decision Maker Response

Sainsbury's’s response

Dec 17, 2021 — Dear Lexi,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

While we do need some plastics on foods to help keep them fresh and to help avoid food waste, we share your worries about plastic and the effect it is having on the environment and we want to reassure you that we are committed to playing our part in helping to reduce the amount that we use.

We have a target to reduce our use of plastic packaging by 50 per cent by 2025. We’re also working towards our commitment of making 100% of our plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2023.

We have already achieved a variety of things which are helping us to remove, reduce, replace and recycle plastic. For example, we have removed and replaced difficult to recycle plastic including black plastic, PVC, and Polystyrene from our own brand packaging. We have removed plastic from a range of products as well – eliminating plastic straws from our own-brand range of lunchbox juice cartons, which means that we have removed 18.5 million plastic straws each year. We have also replaced plastic with pulp trays for all our own-brand eggs, removing 237 tonnes of plastic and removed plastic wrap from tea boxes, removing 17 tonnes. Our online deliveries no longer use plastic bags and you won’t find any single use plastic bags in our fruit and veg aisles in store either.

We also want to make it easier for our customers, like you, to recycle. To support this, this year we rolled out a flexible plastic recycling scheme to help everyone recycle plastic packaging which you can’t pop in your recycling bin at home. This means that you can bring back any flexible plastic packaging such as salad bags, crisp packets and food pouches, to any Sainsbury’s supermarket and we will recycle it for you. All of our plastic clothing hangers are made with 100% recycled material, and you can also leave the hangers behind when you purchase clothing from our stores to enable us to recycle them.

These steps have helped us to remove hundreds of tonnes of plastic so far and the majority of our own brand plastic packaging is either classified as widely recycled, can be locally recycled at collection points or can be recycled by bringing back to our supermarkets.

We know we still have a way to go but we hope this shows you that we’re committed to making a difference.

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