Tesco, the UK’s supermarket group, has initiated a trial to use laser etching on avocados instead of sticking them with plastic labels, Reuters reported. 

This approach, intended to cut down plastic waste, involves the use of high-powered lasers to inscribe details such as the fruit’s size or variety on its skin. 

The trial is currently underway in approximately 270 stores in south-east England, with plans for a nationwide rollout if customer feedback is favourable.  

The initiative could potentially eliminate the use of nearly one million plastic stickers annually for Tesco’s loose, extra-large avocados, according to Reuters. 

Westfalia Fruit, Tesco’s primary avocado supplier from Lincolnshire, is collaborating on this initiative.  

Westfalia Fruit general manager Graham Isaac was quoted by the Guardian as saying: “We are confident that, with a clear focus and united effort as an industry, we will be able to significantly reduce our waste, use natural resources responsibly and protect the environment and biodiversity for all our futures.” 

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In addition to the laser labelling, Tesco is also experimenting with replacing plastic tray packaging for two popular avocado lines with cardboard containers, which are more easily recycled.  

If implemented, this change would save more than 20 million pieces of plastic tray packaging annually from just the twin-pack avocados. 

Tesco, which sells nearly 70 million avocados each year, is working towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, including emissions from its operations, products, and supply chains. 

Besides Tesco, Marks & Spencer previously conducted similar trials with its supplier, Mack, in Kent, in 2017, and tested it with oranges.  

Laser Food, a Spanish company, has also explored this technology on various fruits, ranging from coconuts to apples, the Guardian reported. 

Last month, Tesco Ireland revealed plans to use a new, more sustainable packaging format for its range of fresh mince meat products.