Source: Sainsbury’s

The refill pouches could save a claimed 28 tonnes of plastic a year

Sainsbury’s is launching handwash refill pouches in a bid to reduce plastic usage.

The intention is for customers to use them to refill an existing handwash bottle.

The one-litre own-label refills use 85% less plastic than their non-refill equivalent, which would be four 250ml Sainsbury’s The Collection bottles.

They are also 35% cheaper than the equivalent bottles, according to the supermarket.

Sainsbury’s estimates they could save 28 tonnes of plastic a year.

The refills are available now in Sainsbury’s stores across the UK, as well as online. Shoppers can recycle the pouches by bringing them back to one of Sainsbury’s front of store flexible plastics recycling points.

It follows a series of plastic reduction commitments from Sainsbury’s as it works toward a goal of halving its own-brand plastic packaging by 2025.

Read more: Plastic packaging tax: what does it mean for UK grocery?

Sainsbury’s recently replaced the plastic packaging on its five-pack Fairtrade bananas with a paper band.

Other supermarkets are also looking at ways to reduce virgin plastic-based packaging across a variety of lines.

In March, M&S, Morrisons, Ocado and Waitrose joined forces as members of the Refill Coalition to launch an industry-wide refill trial to tackle single-use plastic usage.

Last week, M&S launched a refillable trial that lets shoppers reuse their own containers on an array of products including cleaning sprays, laundry detergents, fabric conditioners and washing-up liquids.

And earlier this year, Tesco told suppliers they need to move three times as fast in removing plastic from shelves, as the UK’s biggest supermarket shifts towards reusable products and loose fruit & veg.