Sainsbury’s rolls out cardboard hangers to save 103 tonnes of plastic

Sainsbury’s has swapped plastic hangers for cardboard across its Tu Clothing Baby range to save 103 tonnes of plastic.

The swap, a UK supermarket first, follows a successful trial and will be available in over 400 stores. The change has been made on Tu Clothing Babywear items that were previously on a plastic hanger and allows customers to recycle the cardboard hangers at home, in turn helping them to reduce their environmental impact too.

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To encourage a circular economy for packaging, Sainsbury’s offers an in-store recycling service for Tu Clothing plastic hangers. When checking out in store, customers and colleagues can leave behind their plastic hangers, which will then be returned for recycling. Between January and July this year, Sainsbury’s returned 12 million hangers from checkouts, equivalent to 85 tonnes of plastic.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told Sustainability Beat that reducing plastic packaging across its own brand ranges is “one of its key priorities.”

“We’re always looking for new ways to combat our environmental impact and Tu Clothing’s recent change to cardboard hangers across the babywear range is just one example of this.

“Last year we swapped all own-brand coffee pods from plastic to aluminium, saving 10 million pieces of plastic annually. We also ramped up the removal of single use plastic lids across own-brand products, resulting in a reduction of 71 million pieces of plastic being used.

“Last month we introduced cardboard trays to by Sainsbury’s steaks, saving 10 million pieces of plastic each year,” they added.

Indeed, Sainsbury’s achieved a 17.5% absolute reduction in its own brand packaging year on year series of changes to its packaging in recent months. The supermarket also became the first UK retailer to switch its laundry detergent packaging from plastic to cardboard.

Circular economyMaterials and packagingNewsRetail

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