• Cleaner Greener Wanstead

Ingles initiative slashes plastic waste

Well done to East London bakery, Ingles, which has achieved a massive reduction in its use of plastics… with plans afoot to cut back even further. Ingles has been busy making changes that have reduced plastic waste by more than 2 tonnes per month across their 48 shops, including our local store in Wanstead. For example they have:

  • Replaced plastic carrier bags with recycled craft bags, saving 271kg of plastic per month

  • Stopped using plastic labels on rolls and sandwiches, saving 40kg of plastic per month

  • Switched from plastic bottles to cans and cartons where possible, saving 368kg of plastic per month

  • Stopped the use of plastic in filled roll packaging and cake boxes, saving 1.47 tonnes of plastic per month

  • Moved to plant-based throw-away coffee cups (although by far the most environmental option is to take your own reusable cup)

Ingles is also looking at disposable glove alternatives for staff and working with partners to reduce plastic in their supply chain, for example getting rid of plastic wrapping on pallet deliveries. They are hoping to launch new options to replace plastic bread bags in early 2020 (in the meantime why not just ask for your sliced loaf in a paper bag).

It really shows what businesses can do when they put their mind to it. This fantastic plastics initiative adds to Ingles other sustainable practices such as using organic milk and free range eggs, sourcing flour from local mills (Marriages and Wrights), partnering with local suppliers in Essex and inner London, and employing locally.

As busy consumers, we urgently need easy but environmentally-friendly options for our everyday shopping. The supermarkets are totally failing us and, mind-bogglingly, actually increased their packaging waste last year. Thank goodness Ingles has used its loaf and come up with ways to make big reductions in plastic. It’s great news for people in Wanstead looking to shop more sustainably.

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