Packaging Retail

Waitrose Launches First Compostable Ready Meal Trays

Waitrose launch the first ever ready meal trays that can be composted at home.

Currently, most ready meal trays are being made from a type of black plastic. This type of black plastic cannot be identified by many waste-sorting machines

Waitrose is to launch the world’s first ready meal trays that can be composted at home.

Retailers are racing to ditch excessive plastic packaging amid a war on waste. Currently, most ready meal trays are made from a type of black plastic which cannot be identified by many waste-sorting machines – meaning most of it ends up in landfill, or burned.

Waitrose says its new fibre-based packaging – which can also be recycled along with waste paper – will initially be used for its Italian range of ready meals, removing 158 tonnes of black plastic from shelves. It will then be introduced for other items, too.

The new material comes from sustainable forests and produces 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than the production of black plastic.

The trays should break down completely within 28 weeks on a home compost heap, unlike other ‘compostable’ packaging – which must be heated to high temperatures using industrial machinery to break down.

  • Chemical Recycling Europe, Sustainability on Hold, Lyondellbasell, Ikea, Covestro

  • Industry 4.0, PEF, Perstorp, Timber and Chemical Recycling

  • Ikea Timber, US Recycled Content, EU Bio Ind, Mitsui Finance, HP, Covestro, Canada SUP, Turkey Waste

The Daily Mail has campaigned for more than ten years on the dangers of plastic waste and pollution, which has triggered a dramatic reduction in plastic packaging in supermarkets.

Waitrose packaging manager, Karen Graley, said: ‘Like the Daily Mail… we recognise that reducing plastics is a really important issue for the environment and for customers. Pioneering a new, home-compostable tray… can make a big difference.’

The chain has already removed black plastic from its fresh meat, fish, poultry, fruit and vegetables and plans to do away with it fully by the end of this year.

It emerged this week that Morrisons is to open plastic-free fruit and vegetable areas in 60 stores to cut an estimated three tonnes of plastic a week.


This article was published on

Waitrose unveils the world’s first compostable ready meal trays after finding a replacement for tricky-to-recycle black plastic



%d bloggers like this: