Waitrose has pledged that by this September no branded cosmetic products will contain microbeads (its own-label range never has) in order to reduce plastics in its health and beauty ranges, the first supermarket to do so.
The retailer is also giving a facelift to its own-label cotton wool buds – one of its most commonly bought health and beauty items – changing the stems from plastic to paper. The new stems will be biodegradable and made from an FSC source of paper. The additional cost won’t be passed on to customers.
The supermarket’s move will save around 21 tonnes of plastic each year.
“Minimising our impact on the environment is a top priority and this is absolutely the right thing to do,” said Tor Harris, Waitrose’s head of sustainability and responsible sourcing. “Although the changes we’re making don’t seem dramatic, they are likely to have a positive impact for marine life. We know there’s more work to be done and we will continue to see how we can reduce plastics across our ranges.”
Dr Clare Cavers, who manages, The Cotton Bud Project, which aims to see brands and consumers switching from plastic to paper cotton buds commented: “This is an excellent example of a major supermarket chain taking a lead, and we hope that more companies will soon follow suit.”