The plastic packaging types Tesco has stopped using includes the use of shrink wrap for branded and own-label tinned multi-pack products
UK supermarket chain Tesco has announced it has removed one billion pieces of plastic from packaging and other products in its UK business in 2020.
By working with its suppliers, plastic the firm has removed includes plastic shrink wrap around branded and own-label tinned multi-packs and wraps from greetings cards.
It also got rid of small plastic bags used to pack loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items, and plastic from Christmas products and packaging.
The one billion target was part of Tesco’s commitment to tackle plastics through its 4Rs packaging strategy – removing it where it can, reducing where it can’t, reusing more and recycling what’s left.
This strategy has seen a business-wide programme of change that assesses every piece of packaging and removes all unnecessary and non-recyclable material.
Tesco’s quality director Sarah Bradbury said: “Our own-label and branded suppliers have had a lot to contend with in 2020 so removing a billion pieces of plastic is fantastic progress.
“Our work to remove, reduce, reuse and recycle will continue into 2021 – there is no place for unnecessary or non-recyclable packaging in our business.”
Tesco met with suppliers to let them know that plastic packaging will form a key part of its decision-making process
In early 2020, Tesco became the first UK retailer to remove plastic wrapped multipacks from its stores and sell loose cans at the same price, a change that has saved 67 million pieces of plastic annually.
In addition, this year saw the firm launch an online shopping service with Loop that delivers groceries in reusable packaging throughout the country.
It has also met with 1,500 suppliers to let them know that packaging will form a key part of its decision-making process that determines what products are sold in store.
The firm made it clear that it reserves the right to no longer stock products that use excessive packaging or hard-to-recycle materials.
Environmental charity the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) UK’s sustainable materials specialist Paula Chin said: “Plastic pollution continues to be one of the most visible symptoms of the environmental crisis we’re currently facing.
“Businesses, governments and households have all got an important part to play, so it’s encouraging to see Tesco delivering against their commitments to significantly reduce the amount of plastic we use.
“We look forward to welcoming further initiatives of this scale in 2021 and beyond.”