• Choose less plastic

    Riverford’s veg boxes contain 82% less plastic than equivalent packaged products from major UK supermarkets*

Staggering amounts of plastic – around 8 million pieces every day – are ending up in our oceans. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the water than fish, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The biggest culprit is plastic food packaging. So what can be done?

Growing, packing and delivering your food ourselves puts Riverford in a unique position to use as little packaging as possible, and to collect what we do use from your doorstep for reuse or recycling.

Sweetcorn plastic comparison

1) Nature provides its own packaging


We only use packaging when it’s strictly necessary to protect fresh produce and prevent food waste; if it doesn’t need it, we won’t wrap it. Since 2017, unwrapping some popular items (such as cucumbers) has saved us an extra 1.5 tonnes of plastic (the equivalent of 30,000 2 litre bottles) per year!  

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2) Plastic alternatives


Where packaging is absolutely necessary, we choose the most sustainable solutions that fit the product’s needs – and we’re always looking for new ways to use less plastic. Our compostable pulp punnets took years to develop, but they do a great job of keeping our tomatoes and soft fruits safe.

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tomato plastic comparison

3) Beech netting


In 2017, we were the first company to discover compostable beech nets. A by-product from PEFC-certified sustainable forestry, the wood would otherwise go to waste, but the nets provide an alternative use – and can be easily disposed of in your home compost heap or council compost bin. So far, they’ve saved 182km of plastic net!

4) Reusable boxes

Instead of plastic bags, our veg is delivered in recycled cardboard boxes that we collect from customers doorsteps to use again. If you leave your box out for us, we can reuse it up to 10 times.  

Organic veg box
Riverford plastic vs supermarket plastic

5) These small changes add up


We ran a comparable packaging study with the leading UK supermarkets. As we’re most well-known for our veg boxes, we decided to compare our 3 most popular boxes to comparable packaged supermarket products over four weeks. We didn’t select items from the supermarket that were excessively packaged; we simply compared organic where possible, in the same weights.

The results? Riverford’s veg boxes use 82% less plastic packaging than major supermarkets!*

Plus, we know that we can do even better - so we've pledged that by the end of 2020, our veg will be 100% plastic free (we'll be converting all our punnets and bags to home compostable materials).  


Choose Riverford

When you choose a Riverford veg box (winner of The Observer’s Ethical Product of the Decade award), you choose to say no to pointless packaging. The carrotiest carrots and the crunchiest cauliflower, all delivered to your door with minimal fuss and unbeatable quality. And better yet, we’ll collect the box and reuse it up to 10 times.


*Less plastic collectively by weight when we compared the contents of our 3 most popular boxes to the comparable, like for like, packaged produce when purchased from 7 major UK supermarkets: Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Aldi, Morrisons and Waitrose. Please note box contents change every week and can vary in packaging weight. The box Testing carried out from 15th October through to the 5th November. Visit www.riverford.co.uk/lessplastic for the results of the test, the full list of products and how we determine the major UK supermarkets.