Eliminating plastic waste…how the John Lewis Partnership is taking action

26th July 2018

Eliminating plastic waste…how the John Lewis Partnership is taking action

Plastic serves several important functions in retail. This can range from protecting vulnerable products from damage whilst in transit, to shielding against contamination or damage by moisture, humidity, gases, microorganisms, insects and light. It also helps preserve food for longer.

The fundamental problem with plastic however is the careless disposal of it, resulting in land and marine litter. Adding to this, is the attitude that plastic has no value, unlike glass or aluminium, so it is often thrown away instead of recycled.

As global populations rise and urbanisation and a culture of convenience continues, the problem worsens. David Attenborough’s Blue Planet IIbrought this issue to the forefront of our minds and in response the retail and leisure industry have been making some immediate changes such as single plastic straws being banned in many bars, restaurants and shops and reusable coffee cups.

At the John Lewis Partnership, we were the first retailer to commit that all our own-brand packaging would be widely recyclable, reusable or home-compostable by 2025. In Waitrose we are also committed to removing black plastic packaging from our own-label packaging by the end of 2019. This is helping us to make a significant contribution to the UK Plastics Pact which we signed earlier this year, which outlines that 100% of plastic packaging should be recyclable and 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted by 2025.

Earlier this year the John Lewis Partnership also held the first ‘Plastics Summit’, which brought together specialists from across the Partnership to identify our next set of targets and build on the progress we have already made. This month we also launched the next theme for JLAB, focusing entirely on plastic waste, calling on businesses with a deep knowledge and expertise of this space to find creative concepts that could significantly reduce plastic waste for John Lewis and Waitrose.

If you are interested in applying submit via https://www.f6s.com/jlab2018/apply by 5 August 2018.