Waitrose Duchy Organic grapes cardboard punnet

Waitrose has launched the UK’s first cardboard grape punnets in a bid to reduce its use of plastic packaging.

The new biodegradable and 100 per cent recyclable cardboard punnet is predicted to save 12 tonnes of plastic packaging a year.

Produced in partnership with packaging company DS Smith and fruit supplier Primafruit, the Duchy Organic grape punnet also optimises the pack line and ensures efficiencies throughout the supply chain, according to Waitrose.

For example, the retailer said the switch to lightweight cardboard punnets will make transporting the punnets more manageable in store.

David Ellerington, head of business development for UK packaging at DS Smith, commented: “By transitioning to cardboard, the entire supply chain benefits and consumers can more easily recycle the packaging.

“Cardboard is a truly biodegradable and 100 per cent recyclable packaging material, made from the fibres of recycled paper and cardboard.

“This not only avoids the felling of new trees, but also ensures that the packaging is easily recyclable at the kerbside for consumers at its end of life.”

The move to a cardboard tray for Waitrose Duchy Organic grapes was the first pledge to be met as part of retailer's seven packaging pledges to honour “The Prince of Wales’s seven decades and leadership on sustainability”.

Waitrose added that the change will allow it to boost the brand visibility of its Duchy Organic line in store. The new design means the brand can be printed on all four sides of the punnet, and the shape of the packaging allows for a flexible shelf position, making it more adaptable to the layout of each Waitrose store.