Tesco to slash 1bn pieces of plastic from products

Tesco supports initiative to end soy-related deforestation in Cerrado, Brazil
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Tony Baggett

“If packaging can’t be recycled, it will have no place at Tesco”, so says Britain’s biggest supermarket who has pledged to remove one billion pieces of plastic from products by the end of 2020.

The move is part of the supermarket’s sustainability strategy – the 4Rs (Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

In examples where plastic can’t be removed – for example where it prevents food waste – the supermarket said it will work with suppliers to “reduce it to an absolute minimum”.

It will explore new opportunities to reuse its packaging and ensure that anything left is all recycled.

In order to actually achieve this aim, Tesco will replace small plastic bags – commonly used to pack loose fruit, veg and bakery items – with paper ones.

It will also remove plastic trays from ready meals, secondary lids on products such as cream, yoghurts and cereals, get rid of sporks and straws from snack pots and drinks cartons, and bid farewell to 200 million pieces of plastic used to pack clothing and greeting cards.

“Over the next twelve months, we will remove one billion pieces of plastic, further reducing the environmental impact of the products we sell,” said CEO Dave Lewis.

“By focusing on solutions that we can apply across all our UK stores and supply chain, we can make a significant difference and achieve real scale in our efforts to tackle plastic.”