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Waitrose using tomato leaves in new environmentally friendly packaging

| Innovation and technology

An innovate new environmentally friendly form of packaging – which uses tomato leaves – debuted in Waitrose stores this week.

The retailer is experimenting with a new form of non-plastic punnet which is created in a complex process that joins together dried tomato leaf and recycled cardboard pulp.

The new style punnets are being used for Waitrose Duchy Organic cherry tomatoes and baby plum tomatoes in selected branches. If the trial is successful, the non-plastic punnet for these products will be rolled out to further branches in 2018, with the retailer claiming it could potentially save 3.5 million plastic trays a year

Nicola Waller, Head of Fresh Produce at Waitrose, said: “We are determined to reduce our use of plastic across our business. This builds on our commitment to ensure that all our own-label packaging is widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable or home compostable by 2025.

“Since 2009 we’ve reduced overall packaging across all products by nearly 50% and are excited about this imaginative way to present our Duchy Organic tomatoes to our customers.”

Other recent Waitrose packaging innovations include boxes for its Red Lentil Pasta and Green Pea Pasta made partly made from pulses, and the box for Duchy Organic eggs made from a mixture of rye grass and recycled paper.

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