Waitrose & Partners has announced it is to introduce EcoBlade shelf-edge strips from Wirth Research (WR), which use racing car technology to make its shops more energy efficient.

The shelf-edge strips will comprise twin blades made from recyclable polycarbonate attached to the front fridge shelving. This will help reduce the amount of cold air lost by using the same channel airflow methods used for racing cars to allow them to corner at higher speeds.

Waitrose & Partners said the EcoBlade would “reduce energy consumption of the supermarket’s refrigerators by up to 25%, saving the energy equivalent of making 1.6 billion cups of tea per year.”

The supermarket also claims that this system would remove the need to install fridge doors while ensuring a constant shelf temperature throughout the fridges to maintain product quality.

The EcoBlade is the first in a series of energy-cutting collaborations between WR and Waitrose & Partners.

Waitrose & Partners head of corporate social responsibility Tor Harris said: “We know there is always more to do, but applying this design means we’re motoring forward in our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.

“To deliver an energy saving of such significance through changing our shelf edging is fantastic and another example of how we continue to find innovative ways to achieve our goal to make our shops more sustainable.”

WR president and founder, and former Formula 1 team owner Nick Wirth said: “We are delighted to receive this significant endorsement from Waitrose & Partners. It is another major step forward in air management and the reduction of energy consumption in buildings.”

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