Sainsbury’s is the first supermarket chain to eliminate cardboard cereal boxes from its grocery shelves, and has started selling milk in polythene bags, which contain 75 percent less packaging than rigid plastic milk bottles, reports the UK TimesOnline. The UK-based grocer expects these steps to help cut packaging on its entire range of products by a one-third.
With Britain said to be producing more than 10 million tons of waste packaging each year, some UK retailers including Sainsbury’s are working to reduce this packaging waste. Sainsbury’s says it is committed to reducing packaging by a third by 2015, while Tesco is aiming for a 15 percent reduction in packaging by 2010.
Sainsbury plans to sell its own-brand cereals in recyclable plastic packets, starting with its basics range of Rice Pops. Kellogg’s, the biggest cereal manufacturer in the world, is considering the same move, reports the UK newspaper. In January, Kellogg began testing a shorter, deeper cereal box size and shape made with 8 percent less packaging material.
Nestle, which makes Shredded Wheat and Cheerios, told the newspaper it had no plans to change the packaging of its cereals.
The supermarket polled more than 1,000 customers about their 10 worst packaged products and discovered that they were frustrated with excessive levels of packaging, reports the UK TimesOnline. But the real test will be whether the packaging will be strong enough to protect the cereal from being ground to dust.
A recent survey by Ipsos Marketing finds that consumers want food companies to focus the most on making packaging more environmentally friendly. Twenty-two percent of European consumers and twenty-one percent of North American consumers chose green packaging over taste.