Waitrose has announced that it will no longer sell children’s magazines which contain plastic toys – in a bid to cut down on the use of single-use plastics in its stores.
The group said it was inspired to introduce the ban after it learned about a 10-year old girl from Gwynedd, Wales who has launched her own campaign to persuade publishers to end the practice.
Over the next eight weeks, Waitrose will remove the magazines from shelves across its 338 stores in the UK. The retailer has also said it will call for magazine publishers to “replace plastic toys with more sustainable alternatives”.
It is the latest move from the grocer to increase its efforts to become more environmentally cautious.
In 2019, Waitrose announced it would stop selling Christmas crackers containing plastic toys from 2020 onwards – instead crackers are now filled with toys made from recyclable materials and do not use plastic glitter.
Waitrose is also tackling single-use plastic across its entire business and is on track to making “all own-label packaging widely recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2023”.
Marija Rompani, partner and director of ethics and sustainability at Waitrose, said: “While we know these magazines are popular with children, some of the unnecessary plastic attached to them has become really excessive.
“Many in the younger generation really care about the planet and are the ones inheriting the problem of plastic pollution. We urge publishers to find alternatives, and other retailers to follow our lead in ending the pointless plastic that comes with children’s magazines.”