British supermarket retailer Asda has committed to remove plastic wrapping from whole swedes, a British-grown earthy root vegetable.

The decision is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to reduce plastic packaging in own brand products by an initial 10% by February 2019, as well as make all packaging 100% recyclable 100% by 2025.

According to the retailer, this initiative will reduce 14t of plastic resulting from almost six million swedes sold annually.

Asda’s move to sell swedes without packaging will not affect the shelf life of the vegetable.

“Working closely with our British growers to ensure delicious veg is available throughout the year, our naked swedes will maintain their taste credentials, without the need for any plastic.”

Asda plastic reduction senior manager Nikki Dixon said: “We’re committed to reducing our plastic usage across own brand products, lowering our impact on the environment and helping families to avoid plastic waste in their homes.

“Working closely with our British growers to ensure delicious veg is available throughout the year, our naked swedes will maintain their taste credentials, without the need for any plastic.”

Dixon also noted that Asda launched plastic unwrapped strategy initially in February to remove avoidable plastic across the business. The extensive shelf life tests of these products have also shown a minimal difference in the shelf life of wrapped or unwrapped swedes.

The company is also planning to test other vegetables and fruits to remove plastic wrappings used for them.

In addition, the company is currently working with packaging experts at Leeds Beckett University to find an alternative solution to plastic in the long term.

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