The new material is said to be 100% FSC-certified and widely recyclable. Consumers should rinse the packaging and place them in their paper recycling bin after use.
Black plastic used in food trays ends up in landfill or is recycled into lower-value materials because they’re coloured using carbon black pigments that can’t be detected by optical sorting systems in recycling centres.
The trays are cream-coloured and will be used for their macaroni cheese, spaghetti Bolognese and tuna pasta bake lines.
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This trial will last two months is part of the supermarket group’s commitment to eliminate black plastics from its own-brand products by 2019.
Waitrose & Partners’ packaging manager Karen Graley said
“Black plastic continues to be a challenge to recycle, and this is why we see innovating in alternative materials as so important. Ready meals have historically used a great deal of black plastic, but hopefully this will be the beginning of the end for this hard-to-recycle form of packaging.’’
Waitrose & Partners has 350 stores in the UK and if the trial is a success, the material could be rolled out across more of its pre-prepared food lines.
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