British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has introduced recyclable packaging for its British Collection vine tomatoes.

Developed in partnership with the Leicester-based Reflex Packaging Group, the packaging features recyclable cardboard with a small amount of plastic film.

It will be used in place of the tomatoes’ previous plastic sleeves, which are difficult to recycle.

The packaging design is inspired by traditional sandwich packaging and has 95% less plastic than the previous packaging.

It is expected to remove around eight million units of plastic by the end of this year.

M&S will initially use the new packaging for its Piccolo, Pomodolci and Capella vine tomato varieties.

These products are now available in the packaging across all M&S stores and via Ocado.

M&S Food technical director Andrew Clappen said: “At M&S, we know our customers are deeply concerned about the environment and rightly expect us to make our products as sustainable as possible.

“That’s why we’re exploring recyclable packaging alternatives for our products, which also help us to meet our plastic reduction targets.

“We want our customers to shop with confidence knowing that the trusted value M&S is famous for means not only delicious, great value and quality produce but a more sustainable choice.”

The launch of home-recyclable packaging is part of M&S’ commitment to making all its food packaging widely recyclable by 2025.

The retailer has also pledged to eliminate one billion units of plastic food packaging by 2027.

Last year, M&S launched widely recyclable packaging for its Mandagold tangerines. The company said this has removed around 748,000 pieces of plastic.

The retailer recently revealed plans to remove ‘best before’ dates from fresh produce packaging labels in an effort to reduce food waste.

The products will instead display a code that store colleagues can use to maintain the freshness and quality of goods.