Grocery market giant Sainsbury's has revealed its latest measure to meet the growing demand for environmentally-friendly food purchasing.
The supermarket firm has introduced compostable packaging for 500 of its fruit and vegetable products and says it will extend the green packaging to its ready meals range by next year.
The packaging breaks down into carbon dioxide and water from a mixture of starch and other organic materials, allowing a saving of 3,550 tonnes of plastic every year, Sainsbury's claims.
"We're now confident that putting 500 types of our food, from ready meals to organics, in compostable packaging will significantly help to reduce the packaging that most threatens the environment," Justin King, Sainsbury's chief executive, commented.
"It also creates an opportunity for customers to dispose of their own waste at home."
Growing public awareness about the importance of recycling has in part been influenced by the government's encouragement of local authorities to boost the amount of recyclable waste collected in green wheelie bins.
Sainsbury's joins other major UK supermarkets seeking to demonstrate their efforts to improve their environmentally friendly credentials. Asda recently shifted much of its freight arrangements from road to the railways, while market leader Tesco has provided incentives for its customers to re-use old carrier bags.
Although the Sainsbury's scheme means consumers will have to maintain a compost heap in their garden, rather than just dividing their rubbish into recyclable and non-recyclable bins, grocery market commentators believe the growing base of ethically-minded customers in Britain will respond positively to the new initiative.