30 Apr 2018 - UK-based retailer Waitrose has pledged £1 million to fight marine plastic pollution after it donated £500,000 to both the Marine Conservation Society and the Commonwealth Marine Plastics Research and Innovation Challenge Fund.
The funding has been raised from the levy of single-use plastic bags sold by the supermarket, and the funding will help fund plastic-waste research and beach and river clean-up operations across England.
Waitrose pledged £500,000 to the Marine Conservation Society last year, meaning the company has now provided £1.5 million to tackle plastic waste using plastic bag levy funds.
The company claims that the Waitrose Beach and River Clean-Up project has removed plastic debris from nearly 500 beaches and rivers across England since it was established in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society in July 2017.
Rob Collins, managing director of Waitrose said: ‘‘We’re very pleased to be an early contributor to the Fund and wish it every success in tackling these pressing issues.
“It feels appropriate that our support is coming from carrier bag levy proceeds and will help with the development of solutions to marine plastic pollution.’’
This environmental pledge is the latest in a series of sustainability commitments made by the supermarket over the last few months.
Earlier this month, Waitrose announced that it would remove all takeaway disposable cupsfrom its stores in order to combat waste.
The company estimates that the move will save more than 52 million cups annually.
In January, the retailer joined other UK supermarkets such as Iceland as it pledged to cut all black plastic packaging from its own-label products by the end of 2019.