Waitrose & Partners announced its newest sustainability initiative today, which will see the elimination of single-use bags at checkouts.
The initiative extends The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s ban of single-use plastic bags at checkouts, implemented on June 1, with Dubai to follow on July 1.
In keeping with the policy, Waitrose & Partners will replace single-use plastic bags with single-use paper bags.
In upcoming months, the retailer will also eliminate single-use paper bags and prompt shoppers to use reusable bags.
As further incentive, Waitrose & Partners will discount 25 fils from total bills of customers who shop with reusable bags.
“This ban is yet another step forward to a sustainable way of living that we are committed to encouraging at Waitrose,” said Sunil Kumar Sekharan, CEO of Waitrose & Partners’ operator in the UAE, Fine Fare Foods.
Waitrose & Partners’ newest sustainability measure aligns with its Partners Against Waste programme, which seeks to create a waste-free future through using eco-friendly packaging, reducing food waste and investing into sustainable ordering systems.
The measure also complements Waitrose & Partners’ Plastic Plan, aiming to reduce the detrimental effects of unnecessary plastic usage on the environment.
“Waitrose is continuously innovating to reduce its environmental impact and emissions, and while we know there is still a lot of work to be done, the removal of single-use carrier bags is such an important step forward,” Mr Sekharan added.
The retailer also strives to ensure circularity is implemented into its supply chains and operations.
Waitrose & Partners’ stores and online channels stock reusable bags, including designs from Emirati print artist Huda Al Nuaimi, to encourage eco-friendly behaviour in shoppers.