Waitrose & Partners initiative to tackle plastic pollution

Waitrose & Partners has launched a new initiative, called Plan Plastic - The Million Pound Challenge it will award money, over one year, to projects that can demonstrate an impact on plastic pollution now and in the future.

Partnering with environmental charity Hubbub, a fund of £1 million has been raised from the sale of 5p carrier bags and grants will range from £150,000 to £300,000. In the longer-term, the retailer has committed to removing all 5p plastic bags from its shops and will also replace loose fruit and vegetable bags with a home compostable alternative. By doing this it will cut almost 134m bags each year from the environment, which equates to 500 tonnes of plastic.

Waitrose & Partners has also pledged not to sell any own-label products in black plastic packaging beyond 2019 and is committed to making all its own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2023.

Applications are expected from a range of organisations including charities, academic bodies, social enterprises, and schools and colleges. An independent expert panel made up of representatives from academia, industry, non-governmental organisations, business and a senior Waitrose Partner, will convene in April to review the submissions. The chosen grantees will be announced in May 2019.

Tor Harris, head of CSR, Health & Agriculture for Waitrose & Partners, said: “We hope the fund will help find new and effective ways of accelerating action to rethink how we all use and dispose of plastic - now and in the future. We take this issue very seriously and are making progress all the time, but we’re determined to maintain our momentum as well as supporting others to do the same.”

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