Two new ranges of gluten free fusilli pastas will go on sale from Monday (1 August), with the packaging made from 15% waste peas and pulses that don’t make the grade during the pasta production process. Alongside reducing the use of virgin tree pulp, the new packaging will lower emissions by 20% and negate the need for an inner plastic sleeve within the pack.

Waitrose’s pasta buyer Jo Heywood said: “Pasta is such a staple product for many families, so it’s exciting to be offering our customers a pasta with a twist, both nutritionally and environmentally. We’re always looking at ways to cut down on our packaging, use more sustainable materials and reduce our food waste, so we’re pleased to be working towards all three of these targets with this new launch.”

The new pasta packaging isn’t Waitrose’s first foray into innovative experimentation. Last year, the supermarket announced that new packaging material made from ryegrass and paper would be used to house Duchy Organic Range eggs.

According to Waitrose, the egg packaging saves 77 tonnes of wood and recycled paper each year, which increases to 382 tonnes when extended to other ranges. The boxes also use 60% less water during production and release 15% less CO2 compared to standard pulp egg boxes. They are also 100% recyclable.

War on waste

The 100% recyclable pasta boxes, which will cost £1.99 as part of the Waitrose LoveLife range, will go on sale just days after celebrity TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall aired the latest instalment of his War on Waste series.

Last night’s episode (28 July) focused on packaging waste and the recyclability of paper cups, while also providing an update on how supermarkets had responded to the first episode of the series, which targeted food waste.

After more than 300,000 people signed Fearnley-Whittingstall’s pledge to end food waste, all of the major supermarkets have taken steps to increase the amount of‘ imperfect’ fruit and veg they now sell – some of them introducing new ‘wonky’ ranges designed to get people engaged with the issue, and others deciding to relax cosmetic standards across some veg lines.

In the six months between filming episode two and episode three of the series, the volume of food that food redistribution charity FareShare received from retailers and food manufacturers increased by 60%, meaning that an extra 50,000 people are being fed every week.

edie’s 2016 Responsible Retail Conference

Are current retail business models fit for purpose if we are to deliver the transformational change needed to create a low-carbon, zero-waste economy? 

Taking place on 21 September in London, the edie Responsible Retail Conference equips retailers, government representatives, sustainability professionals and key stakeholders with the tools they need to achieve more efficient resource use and improve brand reputation in the process.

View the full agenda for this brand new conference here and register to attend here.

Matt Mace

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie