As customer concern over carbon footprints reaches fever pitch, Waitrose is leading the way in reducing packaging with a new test store for shoppers to fill their own containers.
The chain’s Botley Road shop in Oxford is offering refill stations for everyday goods such as pasta and cereals, and a ‘pick and mix’ for frozen fruit.
Household items such as cleaning products are also refillable, while wine and beer will be available to customers that bring bottles.
The ‘Waitrose Unpacked’ scheme has also seen the removal of plastic packaging for flowers, and a ‘borrow a box’ initiative allows customers to take part by leaving a deposit for a container that can be returned to the store.
The pilot scheme will run for a period of 11 weeks, with customers able to provide feedback through a survey at Waitrose.com/Unpacked. Social media users are also urged to have their say using the hashtag #WaitroseUnpacked on Twitter and Instagram.
Head of CSR for Waitrose & Partners, Tor Harris, said: “We are determined to build on the work we’ve already done to reduce packaging – and this test will take our efforts to a whole new level as we help the growing number of customers who want to shop in a more sustainable way.
“This test has huge potential to shape how people might shop with us in the future so it will be fascinating to see which concepts our customers have an appetite for. We know we’re not perfect and have more to do, but we believe this is an innovative way to achieve something different.”