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Waitrose axes black plastic trays in boost for recycling

Waitrose axes black plastic trays in boost for recycling

Waitrose is replacing black plastic trays in its ready-meals with recycled alternatives in latest battle against pollution

  • Waitrose is planning to replace black ready-meal trays with recycled alternatives
  • Black trays are difficult to recycle because the laser sorting systems at rubbish collection depots cannot pick them out, meaning most go to landfill
  • They will be replaced by multi-coloured trays made from recycled bottles

By Sean Poulter Consumer Affairs Editor For The Daily Mail

Published: 20:49 EDT, 16 July 2019 | Updated: 06:57 EDT, 17 July 2019

Waitrose is to replace black ready-meal trays with recycled alternatives.

The supermarket expects the decision will remove 500 tons of plastic from the waste system every year.

Black trays, which are also used to package fruit and vegetables, are difficult to recycle because the laser sorting systems at rubbish collection depots cannot pick them out. As a result, most go to landfill.

They will be replaced by multi-coloured trays that are made from recycled bottles and can be recycled again after use.

Black trays, which are also used to package fruit and vegetables, are difficult to recycle because the laser sorting systems at rubbish collection depots cannot pick them out (pictured: Waitrose Classic Chilli Con Carne With Rice)

Waitrose wants to make all its packaging reusable, recyclable or home compostable by 2023 (file image)

Waitrose wants to make all its packaging reusable, recyclable or home compostable by 2023. It has already eliminated black plastic on its fresh meat, fish, poultry, fruit and veg lines.

Packaging chief Karen Graley said: ‘This is an exciting example of packaging innovation that helps us move even more ready-meals out of hard-to-recycle black plastic into a rainbow of recycled content that can be recycled again and again.’

The new trays will initially be used for Indian ready-meals including chicken tikka masala, chicken jalfrezi, butter chicken, lamb rogan josh and pilau rice.

The first examples will be introduced within a fortnight.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove yesterday announced his support for a bottle deposit and refund scheme to increase recycling.

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