UK retailer Sainsbury’s is cutting down plastic packaging ahead of Pancake Day this year, reducing plastic packaging by 86% in its pancake mix. The move is part of the retailer’s commitment to halve plastic packaging by 2025 and is the latest seasonal celebration to have a sustainable makeover.

Claire Hughes, Director of Product Innovation at Sainsburys

The new widely-recycled pancake cartons are estimated to save a total of 25 tons of plastic every year, and is just one more step the supermarket retailer has taken to reduce its overall plastic waste.

Valentine’s Day will also get a makeover, with a 70% reduction in the plastic packaging of steaks for those celebrating. Sainsbury’s has switched from plastic trays to cardboard for packaging all lamb and beef Taste the Difference and So Organic steaks, resulting in 9 million plastic trays being removed from Sainsbury’s shelves.

It doesn’t stop there though; the supermarket has also saved an impressive 7.5 tons on plastic from confectionery due to thinner packaging alongside recyclable packaging for heart-shaped lollipops and Chocolate Raspberry Slabs.

In 2020, Sainsbury’s reduced plastic packaging of its Cocoa & Co Easter Egg and chocolate bunny range, saving a further 8.5 tons. Whilst Christmas and Halloween saw a combined effort to cut back the supermarket’s plastic in a large range of festive decorations including eco-friendly crackers, cutting all glitter from Sainsbury’s own-brand Christmas boxes and cards, and the removal of multiple environmentally unfriendly plastic Halloween decorations, adding up to a total reduction of 1.9 tons of plastic.

Claire Hughes, Director of Product Innovation at Sainsburys, said: “With a goal to halve our overall plastic use by 2025, Sainsbury’s are committed to continuing to minimize the use of plastic across our ranges including seasonal products, supporting our customers in their efforts to reduce plastic and recycle more of our products.”

Since announcing its pledge in 2019, Sainsbury’s has reduced approximately 4,500 tons of private brand and branded primary plastic packaging – equating to a 4% reduction on its 2018 baseline figure of 120,000 tons.