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24 Oct 2017

New Packaging with a Tomato Sauce

Waitrose Duchy Organic tomato leaf and recycled cardboard punnet

A new environmentally friendly form of packaging - which puts tomato plants to good use - is on supermarket shelves this week.

Waitrose is experimenting with a new form of non-plastic punnet which uses tomato leaves to help package tomatoes.

The packaging is created in a complex process using the latest technology, that joins together dried tomato leaf and recycled cardboard pulp.

The new style punnets will be used for Waitrose Duchy Organic cherry tomatoes and baby plum tomatoes  in selected branches. If the trial is successful, the non-plastic punnet for these products will be rolled out to further branches in 2018  and could potentially save 3.5 million plastic trays a year.

Nicola Waller, Head of Fresh Produce at Waitrose, said:

‘‘We are determined to reduce our use of plastic across our business.

‘‘This builds on our commitment to ensure that all our own-label packaging is widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable or home compostable by 2025.

‘‘Since 2009 we’ve reduced overall packaging across all products by nearly 50 per cent and are excited about this imaginative way to present our Duchy Organic tomatoes to our customers.’’  

Other recent Waitrose packaging innovations include the boxes for Waitrose Red Lentil Pasta and Waitrose Green Pea Pasta which are partly made from pulses. This reduces the use of virgin tree pulp by 15 per cent and lowers greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent. The box for Waitrose Duchy Organic eggs is made from a mixture of rye grass and recycled paper, saving 77 tonnes of wood and paper per year and using 60 per cent less water to produce.


Notes to editors:

  1. The tomato leaf and recycled cardboard punnet for Waitrose Duchy Organic cherry tomatoes on the vine 200g is being trialled in 286 branches while the punnet for Waitrose Duchy Organic baby plum tomatoes 225g is in 170 branches

  2. Other Waitrose innovation to tackle plastic use includes:

    1. Being the first supermarket to not sell any product containing microbeads from September 2016

    2. Stopping selling own-label plastic-stem cotton buds during the same time - Waitrose now exclusively sells paper-stem cotton buds

    3. This summer the retailer launched new sandwich packaging to help increase successful recycling. Via a peelable tab the cardboard comes away easier from the plastic, enabling the cardboard to be recycled easier

    4. Waitrose’s carrier bag levy proceeds are helping to fund beach and river cleans across England over the next year, organised by the Marine Conservation Society

For more information please contact Laura Blumenthal
01344 82 6774

About Waitrose

Waitrose has 352 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 65 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. 

Waitrose also exports products to 53 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service,, as well as specialist online shops including for wine and for plants and flowers.  

In recent months, Waitrose has been awarded the much-coveted European-wide Compassion in World Farming 'Best Retailer Award', Soil Association's 'Best Organic Supermarket Award 2017' and The Drinks Business' 'Retail Buying Team of the Year Award'. 


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