Supermarket chain Waitrose expects to save 9,000 tonnes of packaging annually by selling meat in plastic pouches instead of traditional polystyrene trays, reports the Telegraph. The bags will also give consumers more room in their freezers, while cutting waste in half.
Waitrose is the first major supermarket chain that has dropped plastic trays on all its meat lines, although others including Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer sell vacuum packed steaks, reports the Telegraph. The first lines to use the bags will be mince and diced meat, followed by chops, loins and other cuts.
The ‘snip and slide’ packs will be available in October, according to Packaging News.
James Wilde, a spokesman for Eblex, the lamb and beef trade body, said the primary reason for trays is cosmetics — “to present the meat in the most appealing way.”
Waitrose told the Telegraph that feedback from customers indicates that they don’t mind buying meat in plastic pouches.
Supermarket chains have been working to cut packaging from their food aisles over the past few years. Most recently, Sainsbury’s launched a full range of milk products packaged in polyethylene bags, which use 75 percent less packaging than equivalent two-pint plastic bottles, as part of its target to reduce packaging by one-third by 2015.