Sainsbury's has started selling its So Organic whole chickens on compostable sugar cane trays instead of plastic in Scottish stores.

Sainsbury's made the switch, which it claimed was a first for fresh meat, in the wake of its pledge last year to convert 500 own-label products to compostable packaging.

The retailer teamed up with Scotland's biggest organic chicken producer, Grampian Foods, and bio-degradable packaging specialist Natura ASP to develop the trays, which decompose in eight weeks in compost bins and are said to prevent nine tonnes of packing per year from going to landfill.

"Our shoppers are becoming more aware about where food is produced, but they are also concerned about landfill," said James Laws, Sainsbury's regional sourcing manager for fresh foods in Scotland.

Sainsbury's eventually hopes to extend the range to other parts of the UK, other meats and non-organic and non-meat products.