Sainsbury’s to cut almost 700 tonnes of plastic packaging on meat and fish

Image: Sainsbury's

The retailer has switched from rigid plastic trays to a sugarcane pulp alternative, lined with a plastic film, for its own-brand salmon fillets. The new format will use 70% less plastic than its predecessor. Sainsbury’s claims it is the first major retailer to make this switch for salmon packaging.

“With salmon being one of our most popular fish, we made it a priority to reduce the plastic on the packaging of this much-loved product as we work towards our Plan for Better goals,” said the business’s director of product and innovation Claire Hughes.

Elsewhere, cardboard trays are being added to several breaded fish, breaded chicken, finger food and barbeque product lines that were previously housed with plastic trays.

Shoppers will be able to place the new trays in their recycling at home, after removing the film. The film can be recycled at any Sainsbury’s UK location via the in-store flexible plastics recycling points.

In total, 37 breaded chicken products, 10 salmon products and seven breaded fish products will shift to new packaging by the end of the summer.

Sainsbury’s is notably aiming to halve the amount of plastic packaging it uses for own-brand products by 2025, against a 2018 baseline. It had achieved a 17.5% reduction as of 2023.

Earlier this year, the business confirmed a switch from plastic trays to cardboard ones for all own-brand mushrooms – a change that will mitigate the use of more than 775 tonnes of plastic each year.

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