British retailer Sainsbury’s has announced the use of a recyclable alternative material as a replacement for black plastic trays used in chilled ready meals.

The use of natural CPET, a form of recyclable plastic, is part of the company’s efforts to reduce, reuse, replace and recycle more plastic.

The retailer will use the natural CPET to replace the black pigment material previously used for ready meal trays.

The company plans to introduce the new material across all chilled ready meals by November.

According to the company, the new material is easily detectable and recyclable at all recycling plants across the UK.

The retailer expects to reduce 1,003 metric tonnes of hard to recycle plastic each year with the introduction of the new material.

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Sainsbury’s brand director Judith Batchelar said: “This is a fantastic development in sustainable packaging innovation and we’re proud to be introducing our new, fully recyclable ready meal trays this week.

“Our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment is ongoing and the announcement today is an addition to the wider steps we have taken as a business this year.”

Earlier this week, Sainsbury’s announced a trial to remove all single-use plastic bags from its fruit and vegetable aisles.

In June, the UK supermarket chain announced its commitment to remove an additional 1,284t of plastic from its operations this year.