Waitrose has announced it is permanently ditching plastic wrapping on all its multi-buy grocery tins after a successful trial to remove the shrink wrap.
Removing the plastic wrap, which is used to keep three or four cans together for shoppers’ convenience but which is hard to recycle, will save 45 tonnes of plastic waste a year, the supermarket said.
Waitrose tested the removal last year, and it will now be taken off all the retailer’s canned grocery goods including baked beans, kidney beans, sweetcorn, chopped tomatoes and tuna.
Most multi-buy cans will be available loose, while tuna and tomatoes will move to a card sleeve that can be recycled.
The plastic wrap has already been removed from cans of essential Waitrose kidney beans and sweetcorn with other tins losing the packaging in the next few months.
The move comes as the pandemic prompted record sales of tinned food, with consumers doing larger shops and stocking up on store cupboard goods.
Waitrose said sales of tinned goods remained strong, with many products up by 50% on last year.
Claire Mitchell, canned food buyer at Waitrose & Partners, said: “ Our essential Waitrose tinned food has been selling in record numbers since March and we want to ensure that we can continue to give customers the best quality and value, without passing on the plastic on such popular products.
“Our customers expect us to keep tackling plastic, which includes eliminating single use shrink wrap on our multi-buys.
“This is a significant step towards our plan to phase out non-recyclable plastic from all our packaging by 2021.”
The retailer said it had also removed the multi-buy plastic on essential Waitrose tissues, which will cut single-use plastic by another 4.49 tonnes a year.