Waitrose is to stop selling 35cl bottles of branded and own label vodka and gin in its c-stores in a bid to combat so-called ‘pre-loading’.

The self-imposed ban, which will cost the retailer in excess of £5,000 a year in lost sales at its 33 Little Waitrose stores, is a new pledge by Waitrose to the Responsibility Deal and comes despite government plans to bring in minimum pricing to tackle pre-loading, cited by David Cameron as a major cause of binge drinking.

Waitrose said the products had been “traditionally associated” with the issue. “Encouraging a responsible approach to alcohol has long been a priority for Waitrose,” a spokeswoman said.

Other retailers have also reacted to Cameron’s call. Tesco and The Co-op have backed the move towards minimum pricing, while Sainsbury’s plans to double the number of its stores involved in Community Alcohol Partnerships.

A recent survey by Liverpool John Moore’s University found more than a quarter of women and one in five men aged between 18 and 35 pre-loaded on alcohol before a night out.