Sainsbury’s has committed to cutting a further 1,284 tonnes of plastic this year which includes removing 489 tonnes’ worth of plastic bags that are currently used for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items.

The retailer will be removing plastic bags for these items from all its stores, whilst also offering paper and re-usable bags made from recycled materials.

By September, paper bags will be available to customers for loose bakery items, and customers buying loose fruit and vegetables will either be able to bring their own bags or buy a re-usable bag made from recycled materials.

Sainsbury’s has previously implemented measures that are already leading to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and “virgin plastic” every year.

Its latest efforts bring this total to over 10,000 tonnes.

This is in addition to its commitments to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Sainsbury’s will also remove plastic cutlery from stores as well as:

• plastic trays for asparagus and sweetcorn (144 tonnes)
• plastic lids from cream pots (114 tonnes)
• plastic trays for tomatoes (102 tonnes)
• plastic trays for carrots (38 tonnes)
• plastic sleeves from herb pots (18 tonnes)

The company has also committed to replace:

Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s.

• black plastic trays with recyclable alternatives (6000 tonnes)
• plastic film on fruit and vegetables with a recyclable alternative (2518 tonnes)
• PVC and polystyrene trays with recyclable alternatives (1213 tonnes)
• plastic trays for eggs with a fibre alternative (341 tonnes)
• plastic cutlery for takeaway food with wooden alternatives (38 tonnes)

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said: “We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores.

“Our customers expect us to be leading the way on major issues like this, so I am determined to remove and replace plastic packaging where we can and offer alternatives to plastic where packaging is still required to protect a product.”