Tesco vows to cut one billion pieces of plastic packaging
By James Young | 1st November 2019
Supermarket giant Tesco have announced ambitious plans to remove one billion pieces of plastic from its products by the end of 2020.
The company's 4Rs strategy sets out to Remove, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, means all non-recyclable and excess packages will be removed.
Where it can't be removed in examples where packaging prevents food waste, Tesco say they "will work alongside suppliers to keep packaging to an absolute minimum."
The retailer will also explore new opportunities to reuse its packaging and ensure th
at anything left is all recycled as part of a closed loop.
"If packaging can't be recycled, it will have no place at Tesco," the firm said in a statement announcing the news.
To remove one billion pieces from Tesco own brand products by the end of 2020, Tesco will be removing many items that have long been packaging staples.
Small plastic bags, commonly used to pack loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items will be removed and replaced with paper ones.
Plastic trays will be removed from ready meals and secondary lids will be taken away from products such as cream, yoghurts and cereals.
Sporks and straws will be removed from snack pots and drink c
artons and 200million pieces of plastic used to pack clothing and greetings cards will also go.
In August, Tesco met with 1500 suppliers to let them know that packaging will form a key part of its decision-making process which determines which products are sold in its stores.
The retailer has worked with its suppliers, making clear that it reserves the right to no longer stock products that use excessive or hard to recycle materials.
Tesco has already stopped offering carrier bags with online deliveries - a decision which will stop 250 million bags being produced every year.
Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said: "Our work to Remove, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is already transforming our packaging.
Over the next 12 months, we will remove one billion pieces of plastic, further reducing the environmental impact of the products we sell.
"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."
WWF UK's Sustainable Materials Specialist, Paula Chin said: "Plastic pollution is the most visible symptom of the environmental crisis we're currently facing.
"Businesses, governments and households have all got an important part to play, so it's good to see Tesco's commitment to significantly reduce the amount of plastic we use."
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