Woolworths has launched a recyclable paper meat tray across a selection of its Own Brand beef nationally.

The new paper trays used for Woolworths’ Specially Selected and Grass Fed beef ranges are the first step in a plan to make all Woolworths’ Own Brand red meat trays recyclable over the coming months.

The redesign features a paper tray and fresh seal film, using 75 per cent less plastic than the previous packaging. It is to eliminate 2.2 tonnes of plastic from the supply chain each year across seven popular beef cuts.

Consumers can recycle the trays in their curbside recycling bin by peeling back the vacuum films used to seal in the meat.

The film covering and lining the trays can also be recycled through the REDcycle bins located at every Woolworths store, along with any other household soft plastics.

Woolworths head of sustainability Adrian Cullen said the red meat line was the latest in the supermarket’s program to introduce more sustainable packaging across its products. More than 1300 tonnes of plastic had already been removed from bakery and produce over the past two years, Cullen said.

“Over the last three years we’ve embarked on a sustained program to rethink our own packaging across a wide range of categories. We know sustainable packaging is important to our customers and we’re pleased to begin our transition to recyclable meat trays, starting with our Specially Selected and Grass Fed beef ranges," Cullen said.

“Packaging plays a vital role in maintaining product freshness and quality, but it’s important we do it in a sustainable way and encourage more recycling. Our dedicated sustainability specialists will continue to explore new opportunities to increase the recyclability of our packaging as part of our broader commitment to help build a circular economy, where waste is treated as a resource.”

To help make recycling easier for its customers, Woolworths includes simple, easy to follow recycling labels developed by Planet Ark on its Own Brand products. These show how each element of packaging can be discarded either through kerbside recycling, by returning to the store for recycling, or as general waste.

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