Woolworths drops single-use plastic picnicware

plastic picnicware

Woolworths has removed single-use plastic picnicware from sale nationwide in a move set to eliminate about 2.1 million kilograms of plastic annually.

With about 130,000 tonnes of plastic waste leaking into the marine environment every year in Australia, Woolworths has stopped selling these items to help cut plastic waste and litter.

The retailer is offering an extended range of more sustainable picnicware including bowls and plates made from sugarcane pulp, wooden cutlery and a range of paper cups and plates. All paper and wooden products in the range are FSC certified for sustainable forestry.

James Hepworth, Woolworths Supermarkets Commercial Director for Everyday Needs, said the retailer is committed to growing greener by increasing the sustainability of its range.

“Removing single-use plastic cutlery and other picnicware will not only cut plastic in landfill, but is the right thing to do for the health of our oceans and waterways where these items can unfortunately end up.”

Woolworths marked the national milestone this week, following a phase down of single-use plastic picnicware in stores in recent months.

Woolworths has also removed a number of single-use plastics in recent years, including cotton tips, straws and bags.

Plastic cotton tip stems have been replaced with paper and sugarcane stems across the range, which is expected to save almost 500 million pieces of plastic yearly.

In 2018, Woolworths became the first national supermarket to stop selling single-use plastic straws, removing more than 330 million straws from circulation since.

Single use plastic shopping bags were removed nationwide in 2018, resulting in a reduction of nine billion bags in circulation since.

Woolworths is working across its entire operations to reduce plastic and increase the sustainability of its products. It has committed to make 100 per cent of its own brand packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable by the end of 2023.

Since 2018, Woolworths has improved the packaging on more than 550 of its own brand and fresh products, removing thousands of tonnes of plastic from circulation through items such as milk bottles, meat trays, produce packaging and bakery containers.

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