We are committed to removing single-use plastic from our outward operations by the end of 2019. These changes will have a huge impact on the sustainability of the food system - the driving force of everything that we do.
In Our Stores
Our latest retail store at 309 Fulham Road represents our vision for a plastic-free consumer experience. Our radically seasonal fruits and vegetables are displayed loose and customers are encouraged to place produce directly into their basket.
Plastic bags were replaced with recyclable paper alternatives and compostable pulp punnets used for smaller loose items such as mushrooms and berries. We also offer customers a weekly discount when they bring their own bag.
Our Wholesale Packaging
In 2018, we removed plastic punnets from our wholesale supply chain, replacing them with fully compostable pulp punnets. A minimum of other packaging is used throughout the wholesale supply chain - most fruit & vegetables are sent out loose. All orders go out in the wooden crates that come in from our growers, repurposing packaging that would otherwise be thrown away. We then offer to collect these crates from customers on their next delivery run, to be used again the following day.
Changing Domestic Habits
Working with retail partners such as Waitrose, Ocado and Wholefoods inevitably requires additional packaging due to the level of handling in production. In late 2018 we switched from plastic bags to bio-nets made entirely out of cellulose on high volume lines such as garlic, lemons and oranges. This innovative material is created from the thinnings of sustainably-managed beechwood forests. It is 100% bio-based, 100% biodegradable, 100% home compostable. In 2019, this is forecasted to eliminate the use of over 700 000 plastic bags.
We’re also testing compostable PLA bio-plastic, photodegradable tree-free labelling materials and oil-free inks. A cellulose bioplastic bag is in the final stages and will, subject to final checks, be introduced across our channels by June 2019. This will replace a further 1.5million non-degradable polythene bags with home compostable alternatives made from renewable sources. These bags will bear the ‘Plastic Free’ mark of A Plastic Planet, a grassroots movement which aims to turn off the plastic tap. This mark gives consumers a clear choice to opt for plastic-free produce and could lead them to consider more broadly the impact of their choices across the food system.
“We are very proud to partner with Natoora and to award their new packaging the APP Plastic Free Consumer Trust Mark. Shoppers are actively looking for plastic free alternatives now and Natoora are giving us all guilt free shopping - healthy seasonal produce with great provenance now totally free of indestructible plastic. We share their excitement on this launch as a major step on their mission to become plastic free”.
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet