Waitrose and Iceland make new pledges to reduce their environmental impacts.

Waitrose has announced that it will stop using disposable coffee cups in its stores by this autumn.  From then on, members of its MyWaitrose loyalty scheme, who currently enjoy free coffee in store will have to bring their own reusable cups for use at self-service machines if they wish to continue receiving free drinks when the changes are brought in.  Waitrose estimates that this new move will save around 52 milllion disposable cups from being thrown away each year.

Meanwhile, Iceland supermarkets will stop using palm oil as an ingredient in its own-brand products by the end of 2018.  Palm oil comes from the fruit of African oil palm trees and is used as a vegetable oil.  It is currently used in more than half of Iceland's products.  But oil palm plantations have destroyed rainforests, particularly in southeast Asia, where orangutans have increasingly come under threat as a result of habitat destruction.

This announcement by Iceland follows its pledge earlier this year to eliminate or drastically reduce plastic packaging for its own-brand products by 2023.  Iceland was also the first supermarket to ban genetically modified crops in its own-brand goods.

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