UK supermarket chain Asda has achieved a new milestone by removing 6,500t of plastic from its own-brand packaging since February last year.

The move complements the company’s commitment to reduce plastic used in product packaging and make all its packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.

As part of the initiative, the retailer has reduced plastic in around 1,000 individual product lines across various categories, including fruit and vegetables, electronics, and homewares.

Since February last year, Asda replaced black plastic packaging for its chilled ready meal trays with foil packaging. It also changed non-recyclable polystyrene on pizza bases to fully recyclable cardboard, and replaced five million plastic bags on its bedding range with a cardboard band.

The retailer also removed plastic covers from more than 50 million greetings cards and eliminated plastic windows and film from 1.6 million mince pies at Christmas.

Asda has changed the trays used to pack its fresh produce from black to clear plastic.

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“Avoiding the use of unnecessary plastic will rightly be the starting point for all of our packaging designs in future.”

Asda president and CEO Roger Burnley said: “Making changes of this scale in a business of this size is never easy, but I was clear last year that we needed to take a root and branch review of what packaging we use for our products.

“Our customers expected this of us and, while we’ve reached a major milestone, we know there is more that can be done and we are committed to making meaningful changes wherever possible.

“In many cases, packaging is still essential to protect against waste, but avoiding the use of unnecessary plastic will rightly be the starting point for all of our packaging designs in future.”

The company is planning various initiatives, including the launch of a new plastic principle across its business to avoid the use of unnecessary plastic for all new packaging designs without impacting on food waste or shelf life.