Waitrose & Partners is launching coloured packaging made from recycled plastic for its ready meals. The new trays, made predominantly from mixed coloured PET bottles and trays, means the packaging may be a different colour every time it is produced, depending on what is being recycled.
From pink and red tones, to shades of green and blue, the new packaging is unlikely to be the same twice, meaning customers could buy their ready meal in a different colour tray every time they shop.
The 'multi coloured swap' allows Waitrose to ensure that its trays are more widely recyclable while it continues to replace single use plastic. The retailer recently launched the world’s first home compostable packaging for its Italian ready meals replacing black plastic with a fibre-based tray.
This packaging innovation, produced for Waitrose by Faerch, will see even more ready meals taken out of hard-to-recycle black plastic, saving a further 500 tonnes of black plastic going to landfill.
Waitrose has already eliminated black plastic on its fresh meat, fish, poultry, fruit and veg; and this new packaging helps Waitrose move closer to removing all black plastic by the end of the year.
The majority of black plastic packaging is coloured using carbon black pigments which do not enable the pack to be easily sorted by the systems widely used in plastics recycling. As a result, black plastic packaging can commonly end up as residue and disposed of in landfill.
“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," said Karen Graley, Packaging Manager, Waitrose & Partners.