Waitrose targets glitter phase-out by 2020

Waitrose has pledged to phase out glitter from its own-label cards, wrap, crackers, tags, flowers and plants, as part of plans to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment.

All own-label products in these ranges will be glitter-free or use an environmentally friendly alternative by Christmas 2020.

Waitrose said three-quarters of its own-label cards, wraps, crackers and tags, along with half of its flowers and plastics, are already glitter-free.

“Reducing the impact of plastics on the environment is something our customers care passionately about,” said Waitrose’s head of CSR, health and agriculture, Tor Harris.

“While it’s important to eliminate the use of glitter, we’ll find other ways to make sure our products sparkle at Christmas and throughout the year.”

All that glitters is not gold

Glitter is made up of tiny pieces of plastic, which can end up in the water where they are difficult to break down.

A number of nursery schools and music festivals are already glitter-free, while BBC 1’s Strictly Come Dancing has banned the use of traditional glitter on the programme.

Waitrose was the first supermarket in 2016 to remove plastics in its beauty products by switching to biodegradable paper from plastic cotton buds. The retailer has also brought forward its goal to make all own-brand packaging widely recycled, reusable or home compostable from 2025 to 2023.

Waitrose claims it will replace around 11,000 tonnes of non-recycled plastic within those two years with more sustainable alternatives. In October, Waitrose announced a trial of innovative, fibre-based packaging across its range of Italian ready meals.

George Ogleby

Comments (2)

  1. Roger Munford says:

    Why not next year?
    It is always sad to get something from a well meaning friend covered in glitter and have never had the courage to even point out that glitter is not a good idea. Hopefully others will follow Waitrose so I wont have these feelings in the future.

  2. Keiron Shatwell says:

    @Roger – you beat me to it 🙂

    Surely Waitrose/John Lewis Partnership could end the use of glitter for next Christmas? They have an ability to set a trend that others follow and have done just that in the past, for instance their 5 year warranty on electricals, so maybe next years Christmas campaign could be about a sustainable Christmas and forcing us to take stock of the waste that this holiday brings about. Don’t wait JLP but force the issue.

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