andrew thornton budgens

One of the first supermarkets in the UK to offer plastic-free zones has stripped more of its products to tackle plastic pollution.

The Thornton’s Budgens store in Belsize Park, London, first removed plastic packaging from its fruit and veg throughout 2018 in a bid to show how retailers can make big cuts to their plastic use without hurting sales and increasing waste.

Thornton’s Budgens founder Andrew Thornton worked with A Plastic Planet to unwrap numerous fresh produce items, and aims to hit 3000 plastic-free products across the store by 2021.

The plastic-free zones introduce last November saw around 1,800 products traditionally packaged in plastic replaced with innovative alternatives such as beechwood netting and coconut bowls.

In March this year the business reported a four per cent weekly sales increase on the back of the introduction of the zones.

Now the store has further removed plastic packaging to include loose pulses, beans, grains and seeds, stretching even to plastic-free peanut butter, milk and orange juice.

Andrew Thornton said: “Last year we were blown away by the international reaction when we launched our Plastic Free Zones. The new Unpackaged range represents the evolution of this. Our shoppers love our plastic-free packaging.

“But this is just the beginning. There is no end to our plastic-free ambition. I passionately believe the future of supermarket shopping in the 2020s will be without the toxic material that has done such damage to our planet and ourselves.'

A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland added: “We are very proud of our partnership with Thornton’s Budgens. It has consistently proven that selling plastic-free is not just good for the planet but good for business.

“People finally have real choice now and they are voting with their wallets here. After all the pledges and plastic promises from many of the larger supermarkets it is great to work with a leader who believes in people, planet and profit - in that order.”