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Sainsbury's throws out cereal boxes in packaging overhaul

The days of the cereal box could be numbered, after Sainsbury's yesterday announced a major overhaul of the company's approach to packaging intended to cut the weight of packaging for its products by a third by 2015.

The company said that it had already phased out boxes for its Basic Rice Pops, replacing them with 100 per cent recyclable plastic package, and was now looking to roll out the new packaging across its other cereal products.

"When it comes to cereal, our customers asked us why they need to be in a box as well as a bag when you can just print all the information on the bag" said Stuart Lendrum, head of print and packaging at the supermarket. "In response, we trialled cereals in a bag and a box, and we've now established that we can remove the box on Rice Pops without affecting the quality of the cereal."

The move follows a customer survey from Sainsbury's which highlighted waste packaging levels as shoppers top environmental concern, and is the first in a wave of changes across the company's product lines.

The company said that in addition to removing one of the layers of packaging for cereals, it would also reduce or eliminate altogether the cardboard layer used to package pizzas, tomato puree, yoghurts and ready meals.

Plans are also underway to cut the amount of plastic used to package soft fruits and meats, by replacing boxes with vacuum packs and plastic bags.

The supermarket said that its target of reducing packaging weight by 33 per cent by 2015 will result in more than 50,000 tonnes of packaging being eliminated each year.

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