Friday 10th May 2019
Waitrose & Partners, in partnership with Jutexpo - a leading manufacturer of reusable bags - and designer Emma Bridgewater, have created a new exclusive reusable bag made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, which raises money for the Marine Conservation Society.
In shops from this week, the jute-style bag (£6) is created using the material from 12 plastic bottles and the handy fold-away pouch bag (£4) is created from four plastic bottles. The process involves turning the plastic into a durable and practical fabric called rPet, short for recycled polyethylene terephthalate, which looks like jute, but with a wipe-clean coating.
As voted for by the supermarket’s staff, 10% of the retail price from each bag will go to the Marine Conservation Society, the UK’s leading marine charity dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife.
The innovative first-to-market material launched last May with an initial design and since then more than 298,000 Emma Bridgewater bags have been made from recycling over 1.8 million plastic bottles.
Karen Stenton, Buyer at Waitrose & Partners, says:
“Single-use plastic bags are becoming a thing of the past and our customers are looking for more environmentally friendly options. These beautiful Emma Bridgewater bags not only look good, but they do good too. As well as contributing to the reduction of plastic in the environment, each purchase supports a really worthwhile charity which is helping to clean the UK’s seas and beaches and protect our marine life.”
Waitrose also supported the MCS by donating a million pounds of its carrier bag levy funds for beach and river cleans across England.
Emma Bridgewater comments:
“I am so pleased to launch these shopping bags made from recycled plastic water bottles in our cheerful Anemone pattern. The recent focus on eliminating unnecessary plastic in an effort to protect our environment is vital.
“I hope that Waitrose shoppers will enjoy these super-light and practical bags; and that they will serve as a daily reminder of one of the positive things we can do to repurpose existing plastic waste.”
Sandy Luk, Chief Executive of the Marine Conservation Society, says:
“All of us can do more to reduce our consumption of single use plastic. These innovative reusable bags are not only helping customers to move away from single use plastic bags, but they’ve also taken 1.8 million plastic bottles out of circulation and prevented them from littering our coastline.
“We are delighted that staff at Waitrose and Partners chose the Marine Conservation Society as a charity partner and with the funds we receive in donations, MCS will continue its work to clean up
our beaches and press for improved recycling across the UK.”
About Waitrose & Partners
Waitrose & Partners is committed to making all its own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2023.
The retailer is already over halfway to achieving its target to remove black plastic from its own label products by the end of this year - 100% of its fresh meat, fish, poultry, fruit and veg has already been removed from black plastic, saving 1300 tonnes every year.
Waitrose & Partners has now removed 5p plastic bags from its shops and will be replacing loose fruit and vegetable bags with a home compostable alternative. Waitrose & Partners was also the first retailer to pledge that all its own label cards, wraps, crackers, tags, flowers and plants will be glitter-free by Christmas 2020.
More information on the supermarket’s commitment to eliminating unnecessary plastic can be found here.
About Juxtepo’s process
The innovative first-to-market material is produced to the HALT™ process. Jutexpo HALT these plastic bottles from going into uncontrolled waste streams. Recycling post-consumer PET bottles to create innovative reusable bags add purpose to what would have otherwise been discarded as waste. This reduces the need for oil based virgin plastic to create reusable and single use plastic bags.