Waitrose & Partners has pledged that by Christmas 2020, its own label cards, wrap, crackers, tags, flowers and plants will either be glitter-free or the retailer will use an environmentally friendly alternative.
This year, three quarters of the retailer’s own label cards, wraps, crackers and tags along with half of its flowers and plants will be glitter-free. This will increase by next Christmas when all flowers and plants will be glitter-free; and by 2020 all own label products in these ranges will be glitter-free or use an environmentally friendly alternative.
Glitter is made up of tiny pieces of plastic, and when washed off, the little bits of plastic can end up in water where they never break down.
The move by the retailer follows news earlier this year that BBC 1’s Strictly Come Dancing banned the use of traditional glitter on the programme, as have a number of nursery schools and music festivals in the UK.
Tor Harris, Head of CSR, Health & Agriculture for Waitrose & Partners, said: “Reducing the impact of plastics on the environment is something our customers care passionately about. While it’s important to eliminate the use of glitter, we’ll find other ways to make sure our products sparkle at Christmas and throughout the year.”
Waitrose & Partners was the first supermarket in 2016 to cut plastics in its beauty products by switching to biodegradable paper from plastic cotton buds. The microbeads in plastic cotton buds are recognised as a serious threat to marine ecosystems.
Waitrose & Partners has also brought forward its target to make all its own brand packaging widely recycled, reusable or home compostable from 2023 to 2025. The retailer will replace approximately 11,000 tonnes of non-recycled plastic within those two years with more sustainable alternatives.