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Michael Barker



Waitrose packs tomatoes in tomatoes

Supermarket trials new technology that it says could save 3.5 million plastic trays from being recycled every year

Waitrose packs tomatoes in tomatoes

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A new environmentally friendly pack is being trialled by Waitrose that could signal the end of plastic packaging for organic tomatoes.

The supermarket this week began trialling a new pack which uses tomato leaves to help package the fruit. It is created in a process using new technology to join together dried tomato leaf and recycled cardboard pulp.

The new style punnets are being used for Waitrose Duchy Organic cherry tomatoes and baby plum tomatoes in selected branches. If the trial is successful, the retailer aims to roll it out to further branches in 2018, with a potential saving of 3.5 million plastic trays a year.

Nicola Waller, head of fresh produce at Waitrose, said: ‘‘We are determined to reduce our use of plastic across our business. This builds on our commitment to ensure that all our own-label packaging is widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025.

‘‘Since 2009 we’ve reduced overall packaging across all products by nearly 50 per cent and are excited about this imaginative way to present our Duchy Organic tomatoes to our customers.’’  

The new packaging is the latest in a series of innovations by Waitrose, including boxes of Red Lentil Pasta and Green Pea Pasta partly made from pulses.

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