The retailer will give £500,000 to the Commonwealth Marine Plastics Research and Innovation Fund to support research into the issue of plastics in the marine environment.

‘‘We’re very pleased to be an early contributor to the Fund and wish it every success in tackling these pressing issues,” Waitrose’s managing director Rob Collins said. “It feels appropriate that our support is coming from carrier bag levy proceeds and will help with the development of solutions to marine plastic pollution.’’

A further £500,000 has been pledged to help clean up beaches and rivers across England for the next 12 months. This builds upon a partnership with the Marine Conservation Society (MSC) which saw nearly 500 and rivers cleaned of debris nationwide since July 2017.

War on plastics

Waitrose has taken big strides to reduce of plastic reaching marine life. In September 2016, it became the first supermarket to step selling items containing microbeads, and now exclusively sells paper stem cotton buds.

Waitrose has also committed to making all its own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025. It aims to remove all disposable coffee cups from its shops before the end of 2018.

Earlier this month, Waitrose built on a commitment to stop selling packs of single-use plastics straws, by replacing all plastic straws used in its onsite cafes with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper alternatives.

Waitrose was one of the UK businesses which last week jointly committed to make unnecessary single-use plastic packaging “a thing of the past”. The Plastic Pact, created by not-for-profit WRAP, includes signatories from 42 firms that are responsible for more than 80% of the plastic packaging on products sold in UK supermarkets. All members have vowed to eliminate single-use packaging through redesign by 2025. 

John Lewis at edie Live

Benjamin Thomas will be speaking at the Resource Efficiency theatre on day two of edie Live. This session will hear from some of the industry experts and organisations that have been championing closed-loop collaborations to drive resource efficiency.

Running between 22 – 23 May 2018, edie Live plans to show delegates how they can achieve their Mission Possible. Through the lens of energy, resources, the built environment, mobility and business leadership an array of expert speakers will be on hand to inspire delegates to achieve a sustainable future. For more information click here.

George Ogleby

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