Waitrose & Partners is piloting a new environmentally friendly concept store that will offer customers refillable options on items such as rice, alcohol and cleaning materials.
The upmarket grocer said the move could save “thousands of tonnes” of packaging and plastic.
Waitrose is testing what it dubbed the “unique plan” for the future of grocery shopping at its Botley Road store in Oxford.
The shop features a range of plastic-free initiatives including the first dedicated refill zone to be installed by a major UK grocer, where customers can fill their own containers with products such as pasta, rice, grains and cereals.
Waitrose has also installed what it called the UK’s “first supermarket frozen ‘pick and mix”, where shoppers can help themselves to frozen mango, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, pineapple and raspberries.
A total of 160 loose, packaging-free fresh produce lines will also be offered in the store.
Four different wines and four different beers will be available on tap for shoppers to take home in reusable bottles, and customers can similarly grind their own coffee to take home in a reusable container.
Waitrose has also partnered with Ecover to install an automatic detergent and washing-up liquid dispenser in the store.
Customers can borrow boxes to help them transport their shopping home, then return them to the store on their next visit.
The pilot store, dubbed Waitrose Unpacked, will be open for 11 weeks until August 18.
Waitrose & Partners head of CSR Tor Harris said: “We are determined to build on the work we’ve already done to reduce packaging – and this test will take our efforts to a whole new level as we help the growing number of customers who want to shop in a more sustainable way.
“This test has huge potential to shape how people might shop with us in the future so it will be fascinating to see which concepts our customers have an appetite for. We know we’re not perfect and have more to do, but we believe this is an innovative way to achieve something different.”