UK supermarket chain Tesco has eliminated more than 20 million pieces of plastic from its Christmas range this year.

As part of this move, the retailer for the first time made its own label crackers to be plastic free. This helped remove more than 14 million pieces of plastic from the seasonal range.

The retailer will sell 312,000 Christmas lights in recyclable cardboard packaging and remove a layer of plastic from Christmas puddings and sponges, resulting in the elimination of 1.78 million pieces of plastic.

Additionally, Tesco made its packs of Christmas cards plastic free by selling them in a recyclable cardboard box. The decision saves 4.6 million pieces of plastic a year.

The retailer’s wrapping paper, gift bags, cards and crackers are now free from glitter and widely recyclable.

Tesco quality director Sarah Bradbury said: “It is an absolute priority of ours to remove and reduce the amount of plastic in our stores to the minimum and ensure everything we use is recycled and kept out of the environment – Christmas time is no exception and we want to do our bit to help customers have more sustainable celebrations.”

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The company’s development teams are continuously looking to reduce plastic usage as a part of its 4Rs packaging strategy.

Under this strategy, the retailer will remove all excess and non-recyclable material from its business.

Last month, Tesco revealed plans to replace tray and film from 16 million of its own brand medium, large and extra-large chickens and replace it with a single bag.