Brands large and small are turning to the use of compostable food packaging, helping in the battle against the tidal wave of single-use plastics.
National supermarket chain Waitrose & Partners is introducing an innovative home compostable bag for its Waitrose Duchy Organic bananas, the first of the retailer’s fresh produce to be sold in a home compostable bag.
The move to the bag, made with non-GM corn, will save an estimated 18 tonnes of plastic per year. The bag can be home composted, or reused first as a food caddy liner at home before being home composted.
Tor Harris, Waitrose & Partners said: ‘We’re excited that Waitrose Duchy Organic bananas are the first of our fresh produce to be packaged in our ground-breaking home compostable bag. This move shows the continued efforts we’re making to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging wherever we possibly can and is part of our pledge to make all packaging either widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2023.’
Waitrose & Partners removed plastic bags for its Duchy Organic bananas last year, replacing them with a plastic band while trials took place on the compostable bag. The bag not only protects and maintains the quality of the bananas it also removes the need for plastic banana box liners. Waitrose & Partners, like many retailers, packages its organic bananas so shoppers can see clearly which bananas are organic and to prevent mix ups.
Waitrose & Partners is also currently trialling a home compostable fruit and vegetable bag for loose produce, which it plans to roll out to all branches in spring this year.
At the other end of the scale, Cornish artisan confectioner Buttermilk has launched its newest snack bar in a compostable cellulose wrapper. Buttermilk says it has strived to find a new non-plastic wrapper made of plant-based materials that is hard-wearing, yet sustainable.
When the fudge has been enjoyed, the wrapper can be placed into a home compost bin and will decompose within 26 weeks at ambient temperature.
The new bars are a premium addition to the trend for ‘on-the-go’ snacking and join Buttermilk’s line-up of more than 60 flavours which range from clotted cream to Cornish Gin and Earl Grey tea. The family-run firm’s award-winning treats are still created using traditional recipes and methods at the company’s production kitchen near Bodmin Moor.
Buttermilk managing director Tracy McDonnell Goad said: “Sustainability is an important part of Buttermilk’s ethos and we were keen to find a plastic-free solution so that customers can enjoy an on-the-go treat, knowing that the packaging will not end up in the oceans. Being based in Cornwall means we’re surrounded by beaches so we see first-hand the importance of incorporating environmentally-sustainable packaging materials. We very much believe customers will agree with us that this is a step in the right direction.”