UK supermarket chain Tesco has revealed plans to remove one billion pieces of plastic from its products across the UK stores by 2020.

The move is a part of the retailer’s 4Rs ‘Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ plan.

According to the strategy, Tesco will eliminate non-recyclable and excess packaging across its operations.

To achieve the objective, Tesco will replace small plastic bags for fruit and vegetable packing with paper bags.

The company will also remove plastic trays for ready meals and secondary lids on cream, yoghurts and cereals products. The supermarket will also eliminate plastic sporks from snack pots, straws and 200m pieces of plastic for clothing and greeting card packing.

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said: “Our work to ‘Remove, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle’ is already transforming our packaging. Over the next twelve months, we will remove one billion pieces of plastic, further reducing the environmental impact of the products we sell.

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“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.”

In August, Tesco informed its 1,500 suppliers about its packaging initiatives.

The company has also removed carrier bags from online deliveries, which is expected to eliminate 250 million bags annually.

Tesco will also remove hard-to-recycle materials from own-brand products by the end of the year.

WWF UK sustainable materials specialist Paula Chin said: “Plastic pollution is the most visible symptom of the environmental crisis we are currently facing.

“Businesses, governments and households have all got an important part to play, so it is good to see Tesco’s commitment to significantly reduce the amount of plastic we use.”