04/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/01/2021 00:39
Plastic eating fungi and innovative technology to prevent fishing nets being lost at sea are among projects proven to have made a real difference in the fight against plastic pollution, nearly two years after being awarded funding from Waitrose.
The progress made by five diverse and groundbreaking projects is in a new report we have published today detailing their positive impact on the environment.
We launched Plan Plastic - The Million Pound Challenge in 2019 to support projects which tackle plastic pollution or rethink how we use and dispose of plastic, with an aim of creating real impact and long-lasting effects.
The £1 million fund, which originated from the sale of 5p carrier bags, was used to provide grants ranging from £150,000 to £300,000. Environmental charity Hubbub worked with us to support the five chosen projects and to measure the impact of their work.
Marija Rompani, Partner and Director, Ethics & Sustainability, Waitrose, said: 'It is essential we continue to eliminate single-use plastic in our business, but also support progress made by other organisations in the wider world. All these inspirational projects have proven their ability to create real impact in tackling environmental issues and encouraging behaviour change. Action on a larger scale is now needed to make a significant difference in our collective fight against plastic pollution.'
Saskia Restorick, Director at Hubbub, said: 'The response to the Waitrose Plan Plastic fund was overwhelming. It is so encouraging to see how many people are trying to make a real difference to reducing plastic pollution in the UK. It has been incredible to watch the five chosen projects develop over the past year and we truly believe the impact they can have is instrumental in tackling plastic pollution. Each project has long-term legacy beyond the grant fund and it has been a privilege to have been a part of the start of that journey. We wish them all the best of luck as they expand their projects further.'
The winners were chosen by an expert panel made up of representatives from academia, industry, non-governmental organisations and business. 150 projects applied for the fund, eight were selected to present to the panel, five organisations were awarded grants.
We are committed to reducing and removing unnecessary plastic wherever possible and are on-track to making all our own-label packaging widely recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2023.
We recently ranked first in Greenpeace's annual league table, for the second year in a row, which looks at how supermarkets are reducing their use of single-use plastics. We also launched a pioneering refillable range in some of our shops in 2019 with 'Waitrose Unpacked' to test demand from consumers for packaging free shopping.
For a full copy of the report, more details about the projects, or for photography and filming opportunities, please contact the Waitrose Press Office.
More information about how Waitrose is reducing plastic and packaging can be found here
By 2023, all our own-label packaging will be widely recycled, reusable or home compostable.
We aim to reduce single use plastic by 20% by 2021 - increasing to 50% across our own label by 2025.
By 2025, we aim to increase the proportion of reusable and refillable packaging used across our own label products by 50%.
We also plan to remove the following:
Hubbub is an award-winning charity and social enterprise that inspires ways of living that are good for the environment - disrupting the status quo to raise awareness, nudge behaviours and shape systems. Their aim is to revolutionise communications with the public about environmental issues - using everyday language and good design to make environmental actions desirable and tapping into things people are passionate about such as food, fashion, homes and neighbourhoods. This innovative approach saw Hubbub win the Charity of the Year Award at the prestigious Charity Times Awards in 2020.
Since its formation in 2014, Hubbub has delivered more than 60 trailblazing environmental campaigns in collaboration with over 700 partners, helping to shift the national debate on key environmental issues such as food waste, sustainable fashion, air pollution and recycling. Hubbub's campaigns include #LeedsByExample which brought together 25 of the UK's largest companies to boost recycling on the high street, a 3-year partnership with IKEA to create the world's largest consumer-facing sustainability campaign 'Live Lagom' and creating a Network of 100 Community Fridges across the UK, each redistributing on average 1.5 tonnes of food every month that would otherwise have gone to waste.
The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. Started as a radical idea nearly a century ago, the Partnership is the largest employee-owned business in the UK and amongst the largest in the world, with over 78,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. For all intents and purposes, the Partnership is a social enterprise; the profits made are reinvested into the business - for customers and Partners. John Lewis operates 42 shops plus one outlet across the UK as well as johnlewis.com. Waitrose has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitroseflorist.com for plants and flowers.