On a roll! Sainsbury’s introduces paper packaging to its toilet and kitchen rolls in UK retailer first
3 October 2023
Sainsbury’s is the first UK retailer to announce it is switching from plastic to paper packaging across its entire own-brand toilet paper and kitchen towel ranges. The move will save 485 tonnes of plastic, which is equivalent to over 55 million pieces of plastic a year. The change is the biggest plastics reduction the retailer has made in its grocery business so far.
The new packaging will launch across 27 products, with customers starting to see the change in store and online from this week. The paper packaging will have rolled out to all lines by February next year and can easily be recycled at home through kerbside recycling.
The packaging switch follows the introduction of double-length toilet rolls in Sainsbury’s last year. The multipack rolls include double the number of sheets on each roll, reducing plastic packaging by 30%, and saving 84 tonnes of plastic each year.
Claire Hughes, Director of Product and Innovation, said: “We sell thousands of our own brand toilet tissue and kitchen roll products every week and by switching from plastic to paper on these household staples, we’re able to make a significant impact in reducing plastic. This change alone represents the biggest plastic reduction in our grocery products so far and our customers can expect many more changes to come. Collaborating with our suppliers to develop innovative packaging solutions to reduce plastic is a major key priority for Sainsbury’s, helping us to achieve our ambitious target of increasing recycled content and recyclability.”
Sainsbury’s also recently passed on over £4m worth savings directly to customers by cutting the price of selected own brand toilet paper and kitchen towels. The cuts included by Sainsbury’s ultra-absorbent kitchen towels x2 (previously £3.25, now £3) and by Sainsbury’s super soft quilted x16 (previously £7.50, now £6.50) and are part of its commitment to keep prices low on staple household products.
The retailer's latest packaging swap is just one of the changes it has made this year to reduce plastic packaging. Last month, Sainsbury’s was the first UK retailer to swap its plastic babywear hangers to cardboard, saving 103 tonnes of plastic a year. Sainsbury’s also switched its own-brand laundry detergent from plastic to cardboard cartons earlier this year, saving 22 tonnes of plastic annually.