This Christmas Selfridges is launching a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging across its own brand range of festive food using innovative home compostable cellulose film NatureFlexTM.
As part of Selfridges’ commitment to making its products better for people and the planet, iconic items in this year’s Selfridges Selection Christmas range, including mince pies and Christmas cake, are now 100% plastic free. The plastic used in the packaging of these products in previous years, for example in trays, windows and bags, has this year been replaced with either recyclable card or NatureFlexTM.
The plastic alternative looks, feels and behaves like plastic, but is made from renewable and responsibly sourced wood pulp and entirely home compostable in just eight to ten weeks. The cellulose film, made in Cumbria, was several years in development to achieve certified status for home composting. Customers will be able to tell at a glance thanks to a sticker on the packaging that says ‘I’m compostable – just place me in your home food waste’. Selfridges is continuously looking at ways to improve the sustainability of all its own label products and working on solutions across its Foodhalls and in restaurants.
There is increasing demand for more environmentally responsible packaging, with new Selfridges’ research* saying that 82% of consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of plastic food packaging. With the festive season being a time for entertaining and indulgence, almost two thirds of people (64%) are concerned about the impact of Christmas specifically on the environment and more than half of UK consumers (56%) will consider the amount of packaging when buying Christmas food. With the introduction of NatureFlexTM film to the range, this year almost 90,000 individual mince pies and more than 3,000 Christmas cakes sold at Selfridges will no longer come wrapped in plastic.
Daniella Vega, Selfridges’ Director of Sustainability, says: “We know our customers share our concern for the environment and we’re continually looking at ways in which we can address the sustainability of our products as part of our Buying Better, Inspiring Change approach which sits at the heart of our business strategy. This includes reducing our plastic use and introducing more sustainable products and packaging. NatureFlex is an incredible alternative; it looks just like plastic but can be easily popped into the food waste bin or home compost after use. We look forward to introducing this innovative product to our customers and helping them to tackle plastic waste this festive season.”
Clare McKeown, UK & Ireland Sales Manager at Futamura, manufacturer of NatureFlexTM, comments: “We’re delighted to be working with Selfridges in making their food and drink packaging more sustainable. If other retailers follow their lead and consider the same swap, we have the potential to eliminate an enormous amount of plastic from landfill, which would have a hugely positive impact on the environment.”
As well as the reduction of plastic across the Selfridges Selection range, this year all products are palm oil free, following the brand’s commitment to removing it from all own label products by December 2019.
In a response to increased consumer demand for plant-based food, for the first time there are nine new vegan Christmas favourites in the own label collection, including Vegan Spiced Pumpkin Panettone and Vegan Chocolate Pralines that rival their classic counterparts on flavour.
Selfridges’ commitment to reducing plastic and finding sustainable packaging alternatives extends beyond the festive season and the retailer will be rolling out NatureFlexTM to a selection of its all year round biscuits and cakes. Selfridges has a long history of addressing the issue of plastic pollution as part of its Project Ocean campaign which launched in 2011.