The move to switch from the traditional plastic tray packaging to a vacuum-packed alternative will result in a minimum of 55% reduction of plastic per product

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Sainsbury’s to replace its plastic tray packaging with a new vacuum-packed alternative for its entire beef mince range. (Credit: Sainsbury’s)

British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is set to replace its traditional plastic tray packaging with a new vacuum-packed alternative for its entire beef mince range.

The new packaging, a supermarket’s first such format, will reduce the amount of plastic used to make each product by at least 55%. Overall, the move is expected to save 450 tonnes of plastic a year.

According to Sainsbury’s, the new packaging will be used across all of its beef mince products, which is available for £1.99 for 500g.

The revamped packaging format will be available for customers both in-store and online from today.

The supermarket chain said that all oxygen will be removed during vacuum packaging, which usually results in a product spoiling over time, to keep the beef mince products fresh.

With a small size, the new container will still have the same amount of beef mince, taking up less room in customers’ refrigerators and freezers.

Sainsbury’s Product and Innovation director Claire Hughes said: “We know how environmentally conscious our customers are and we’re constantly looking for new ways to innovate to achieve our goals.

“We strive to be bold in the changes we are making, which is why we’re pleased to be the first UK retailer to vacuum pack all our beef mince range.

“We know it’s important that we offer customers the same great value and quality products whilst also doing everything we can to reduce plastic packaging.

“This is the latest in a long line of changes we have pioneered in the space, and customers can expect much more to come from Sainsbury’s.”

The modification is the latest in a series of adjustments the company has made to reduce the amount of own-brand plastic packaging it uses by half by 2025.

Recently, Sainsbury’s announced that all of its own-brand containers of yoghurt, crème fraiche, sour cream, cream, cottage cheese, custard, and dip will no longer come with single-use plastic lids. It will save 71 million pieces of plastic annually.