Monday 21 September 2020:  Woolworths is launching new recyclable paper meat trays across a selection of its Own Brand beef nationally, the latest milestone in an ongoing program to introduce more sustainable packaging.

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 redesigned packaging - made up of a paper tray and fresh seal film - now uses 75 per cent less plastic than the previous packaging and will eliminate 114 tonnes of plastic from the supply chain each year across seven popular beef cuts.

Unlike some meat trays, customers can recycle the new paper trays in their curbside recycling bin by simply peeling back the vacuum films used to seal the meat in fresh.

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. 

Red meat is the latest line in focus, with the supermarket’s program to introduce more sustainable packaging across its products already removing 1,320 tonnes of plastic from bakery and produce over the past two years.

Woolworths Head of Sustainability, Adrian 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.

“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.

From today recyclable paper trays will be used for the following Woolworths brand meat products:

  • Woolworths Specially Selected beef range
  • Rump Medallion
  • Eye Fillet Steak
  • Porterhouse Steak
  • Scotch Fillet Steak
  • Woolworths Grass Fed beef range
  • Scotch Steak
  • Eye Fillet Steak
  • Rump Steak