Reducing banana damage and saving trees really adds up

The Grocer

Next month sees another industry first from us as we strive to become a more sustainable business.

You may have become familiar with the plastic trays that we use on the shop floor for many of our fruit and vegetables. The benefit of using these trays is significant for the environment as:

  • They’re re-usable and so save valuable wood pulp that would otherwise have gone into cardboard boxes
  • They stack better in our vehicles which means it takes less of them to carry more product
  • The products themselves need less handling and so reduce the risk of damage and the need to throw away unfit stock

But if you look closely most of the usage at the moment is for products produced nearer to home.

In a UK industry first, next month you’ll find pre-packed bananas in these re-usable trays at Asda. You might ask what the big deal is – well it’s pretty interesting.

We reckon just using re-usable trays for these bananas will save 6.75 million kilograms of cardboard every year – that’s quite a few trees!! Our plan is to also use the trays for loose bananas from next year which will save a further 8.25 million kilograms of cardboard. There’s a further benefit on product damages. Bananas are a delicate fruit and can be easily damaged so handling them less will improve their quality.

Just a small example but it all adds up. My thanks to our supplier partner Fyffes and congratulations to my colleagues, Jim and Paul, for this great achievement.

Posted by Julian on 12 March 2012
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