British food retailer Waitrose is set to introduce a new eco-friendly packaging made using tomato leaves.
The packaging, which is a combination of tomato vine leaves and recycled cardboard, will replace plastic packaging for tomatoes.
The introduction of the new packaging comes after Waitrose has trialled the technology last year in a bid to tackle plastic waste.
Starting in the middle of this month, Waitrose Duchy cherry tomatoes will be made available to customers in the new trays.
Waitrose Fresh Produce head Nicola Waller said: ‘‘We’re serious about looking for alternative packaging materials. This uses materials which would otherwise be wasted which can only be a good thing.
‘‘We will ensure that all our own-label packaging is widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable or home compostable by 2025 – and looking for alternative forms of packaging is part of this process.”
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The roll-out of the new brown packaging will be gradually expanded to include the remaining four Waitrose Duchy tomato lines from the end of next month.
The packaging is made using technology that mixes dried tomato leaf with recycled cardboard pulp.
Recently, Waitrose designed boxes for Waitrose Red Lentil Pasta and Waitrose Green Pea Pasta, which are partly made from pulses.
The packaging is expected to reduce the use of virgin tree pulp by 15% and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20%.
Additionally, the retailer created a packaging for its Waitrose Duchy Organic eggs using alternative materials made from ryegrass and recycled paper in an attempt to save 77 tonnes of wood and paper per year.