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Waitrose to remove microbeads in its cosmetic products and to change the stems of its own label cotton buds to paper by September 2016

LONDON, 2016-Jul-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The retailer has pledged that by September 2016  no branded cosmetic products will contain microbeads. (The retailer’s own label range of beauty products has never contained any microbeads.)

One of the most commonly bought health and beauty items will also get a facelift in order to cut down on the use of plastics. Waitrose is the first supermarket to announce the change to stems of its own label cotton wool buds from plastic to paper this September – saving around 21 tonnes of plastic each year. The new stems will be biodegradable and made from an FSC source of paper. The additional cost will not be passed on to the customer.

Microbeads and plastic cotton bud stems are recognized as posing a serious threat to marine ecosystems by organisations such as Greenpeace, the United Nations and the Marine Conservation Society.

Tor Harris, Waitrose’s Head of Sustainability and responsible sourcing, said: ‘Minimising our impact on the environment is a top priority and this is absolutely the right thing to do. Although the changes we’re making don’t seem dramatic, they are likely to have a positive impact for marine life. We know there’s more work to be done and we will continue to see how we can reduce plastics across our ranges.’

Dr Clare Cavers manages The Cotton Bud Project1, which aims to see brands and consumers switching from plastic to paper cotton buds for good: ‘This is an excellent example of a major supermarket chain taking a lead, and we hope that more companies will soon follow suit.’

Notes to editors

1 The Cotton Bud Project is run by Fidra, a charity based in East Lothian Scotland. Fidra seeks to engage local concerns over current and emerging environmental issues, and use these to contribute to a wider dialogue at national and international levels. Fidra is a Scottish registered charity and SCIO no. SCO43895. Find out more at and

Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food Retailer2 awards- currently has 350 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, as well as specialist online shops including for wine and for cookware, utensils and kitchen gadgets.

¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards


For further information, please contact:

Laura Blumenthal
Press Office, Corporate
Telephone: 01344826774

Source: Waitrose

EPR Retail News