M&S has made the packaging for all its in-store bakery products 100% widely recyclable.
The new packaging, made from either translucent paper or paper with a small plastic window, can be collected for recycling by at least 75% of local authorities across the UK, according to the retailer.
The change is one of M&S’s steps toward making all its packaging widely recyclable by 2022.
M&S is also rolling out a trial of garlic bread made with surplus boules and baguettes as part of its goal to halve its food waste by 2030. The initiative will roll out to 200 stores following a trial at eight food halls.
Staff will slice unsold baguettes and boules at the end of each day before filling them with garlic butter and freezing them for an additional 30 days’ shelf life.
The garlic boules cost £2 and garlic baguettes are £1 or £1.80 for a twin-pack.
It follows the introduction of a similar initiative of turning leftover baguettes into packets of crostini in 580 M&S in-store bakeries across the UK and Ireland. After being sliced in a bakery machine, brushed with olive oil and toasted, the bread gains an extra seven days’ shelf life.
M&S is also launching eight new products into its in-store bakeries, including an almond muffin and banana bread, and has updated the recipes for eight of its other bakery lines for “even better quality and flavour”.
“Our customers love the freshness and quality of our in-store bakery products, but their short shelf-life means it can be a challenging area for waste,” said Paul Willgoss, M&S food director of technology. “Whilst accelerating our charity redistribution, we’ve been looking at how we can innovate our processes to ensure we continually prevent waste.
”By turning leftover loaves into frozen garlic bread, we’re not only creating delicious new products for family mealtimes, but we’re also helping to spark change together with our customers to significantly reduce waste. What’s more, they can now be confident that the packaging they take home from our bakeries will be recycled and given a new purpose too.”
David Moon, head of business collaboration at Wrap, said: “Bread is the second most wasted food item in the home, with around one million loaves thrown away every day. As a short shelf-life item, bread can also become surplus at the end of trading. This initiative from M&S is a simple solution to a real problem that turns a surplus item into a brand-new product to be enjoyed anew, and stops food being wasted.”