Waitrose will start using packaging made out of tomato plants following a successful trial.
The innovative eco-trays combine dry tomato vines with recycled cardboard, and will fittingly be used to hold their Waitrose Duchy vine tomatoes. Waitrose tested the technology in 2017 as part of their efforts to cut plastic waste.
The new packaging is created in a complex process using new recycling technology, that joins together dried tomato leaf and recycled cardboard pulp. The new trays are themselves widely recyclable and replaces the original plastic punnets the tomatoes were in.
Nicola Waller, head of fresh produce at Waitrose, said: ‘‘We're serious about looking for alternative packaging materials. This uses materials which would otherwise be wasted which can only be a good thing.
‘‘We will ensure that all our own-label packaging is widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable or home compostable by 2025 - and looking for alternative forms of packaging is part of this process.”
Waitrose duchy organic cherry Tomatoes on the vine have already adopted the packaging, and from July, several more tomato ranges will use the new trays.
In April, the retailer signed up to campaign group Wrap’s UK Plastic Pact, a voluntary agreement to make all UK packaging recyclable by 2025.