Press Release: Waitrose Unpacked Launch

Packaging-free experts Unpackaged help to launch Waitrose Unpacked

Retailer to test concepts that could save thousands of tonnes of packaging and plastic 

Unpackaged has worked with Waitrose & Partners to launch an innovative in-store test taking hundreds of products out of their packaging. 

Running for 11 weeks in Oxford, the test is designed to help determine how mainstream supermarket customers might be prepared to shop differently in the future, with the potential to save thousands of tonnes of unnecessary plastic & packaging. 

The ‘Unpacked’ concepts include: 

·      Essential refillables - 28 products including grains, cereals, coffee beans, dried fruit & seeds have been taken out of packaging and will be available through dispensers

·      Borrow-a-box scheme -In a UK first, shoppers can borrow-a-box from store to shop with to return on their next visit.

·      Frozen pick and mix - Frozen fruit packaging free and available as pick and mix.

·      Detergent and washing up liquid refillables – Ecover are providingan automatic dispenser where customers will be able to refill their Ecover bottles.

·      Wine and beer refillables - Four different wines and beers available on tap to take home in reusable bottles. 

Unpackaged worked as consultants to Waitrose & Partners, as part of the project team, to help conceive, design & deliver the project including product, equipment & supply chain expertise, customer refill processes, instore communications, marketing, analysis and staff training. 

From small London pioneer, Unpackaged has campaigned for over a decade to bring reuse and refill to a wider audience and is now helping to set the environmental agenda for mainstream retailing. 

 Tor Harris, Waitrose's Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Health and Agriculture, said:

"We have a growing number of customers who want to shop with us in a sustainable way so this has huge potential to change how people shop in the future. The insight and expertise provided by Unpackaged has therefore been invaluable in ensuring we have delivered Waitrose Unpacked in an exciting and engaging way for our Oxford customers to create an effective test."

 Catherine Conway, the founder of Unpackaged said “this has been such an exciting project for us to work on as Waitrose are leading the way in zero waste innovation for mainstream supermarkets. Our passion at Unpackaged is to get the world refilling and Waitrose has taken the biggest step in the right direction. We look forward to seeing how customers engage with the test as we firmly believe that reuse & refill are the only real solutions to the plastic packaging crisis we are all in.”


Notes to Editors

 Press enquiries for Unpackaged:

Catherine Conway, Founder, 07956 129 244,

 Press enquiries for Waitrose:

James Armstrong, Corporate Communications Manager, 07764676880,

About Unpackaged

Launched by Catherine Conway in 2006, Unpackaged has been spearheading the zero-waste retail movement for over a decade. The Unpackaged brand has one simple, powerful mission: to help businesses develop and implement successful reusable packaging solutions.

Starting with a market stall and then independent stores, Unpackaged was the first modern zero waste shop offering a solution to the growing problem of packaging waste.  Unpackaged now operates concessions at Planet Organic in London, as well as partnering with independent shops across the UK. 

In addition, Unpackaged’s consultancy work supports innovative retailers & manufacturers to go ‘Unpackaged’ - including supporting zero waste shops all over the world such as Sweden, Costa Rica and Hong Kong. 

Catherine is one of the leading voices in the field campaigning on all aspects of reuse & zero waste.