UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has announced its commitment to remove an additional 1,284t of plastic across its operations this year.

As part of the initiative, the supermarket chain plans to remove plastic bags used for its loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items, which will result in the reduction of 489t of waste.

It will introduce paper bags for loose bakery items by September and will ask customers to buy a reusable bag or bring their own for loose fruit and vegetables.

In addition, the company is planning to remove plastic cutlery from all stores, including plastic trays used for asparagus, tomatoes, carrots and sweetcorn, plastic lids from cream pots and plastic sleeves from herb pots.

Sainsbury’s will also replace 6,000t of black plastic trays, 2518t of plastic film on fruit and vegetables, 1,213t of PVC and polystyrene trays with a recyclable alternative.

Additionally, the company will replace 341t of plastic trays for eggs with a fibre alternative and 38t of plastic cutlery for takeaway food with wooden alternatives.

Sainsbury CEO Mike Coupe said: “We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores.

“Our customers expect us to be leading the way on major issues like this, so I am determined to remove and replace plastic packaging where we can and offer alternatives to plastic where packaging is still required to protect a product.”

The UK retailer noted that it is reducing 8,101t of non-recyclable plastic and virgin plastic every year. The latest initiatives will bring the total to 10,000t.

Last month, Sainsbury’s announced several measures to tackle plastic waste, including a pledge to end the use of difficult-to-recycle dark coloured plastics by March next year.