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August 22, 2019

Tesco commits to banning brands with excessive plastic packaging

UK supermarket chain Tesco has announced it will ban brands that use excessive plastic packaging and remove excess packaging from its own-brand ranges.

By Deborah Williams

UK supermarket chain Tesco has announced it will ban brands that use excessive plastic packaging and remove excess packaging from its own-brand ranges.

The move is a part of the second phase of Tesco’s Remove, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle plan.

The retailer held four meetings with over 1,500 suppliers to outline its vision for the next stage of its packaging plan, informing suppliers that the size and suitability of packaging will be assessed from next year.

Tesco Group CEO Dave Lewis said: “In the first quarter of 2018, we audited all packaging materials in our business and set ourselves a challenge to remove all hard to recycle material by 2019. We’re on track for Tesco own-brand and we’re working with branded suppliers to deliver the same.

“Now we’re taking the next step and tackling excess packaging. From next year, we will assess packaging as part of our ranging decisions and if it’s excessive or inappropriate, we reserve the right not to list it. Through the lens of Remove, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle, we can transform our approach to packaging.”

Tesco also restated its request for the government to introduce a national collection and recycling service to provide a closed-loop for packaging.

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Lewis added: “Without a national infrastructure, industry efforts to improve the recyclability of materials used in packaging will be a drop in the ocean. In January 2018, we called on the Government to introduce this infrastructure and offered to help, including giving space in our car parks for recycling and testing the collection of materials not currently recycled by local councils. That invitation stands and the need for action has never been more pressing.”

Supermarket packaging commitments aim to cut down on plastic

Tesco announced its aim to remove hard-to-recycle materials last year. As a result of its past and current efforts the chain said it will have eliminated the hardest-to-recycle materials from own-brand products by the end of 2019,  removing over 4,000 tonnes of materials from 8,000 lines.

Tesco highlighted how it produced a reduction of 5,000 tonnes in packaging weight and 50,000 fewer road miles just by reducing the size of packaging on multi-buy crisps by 23%.

Last month, Tesco also announced it will stop using plastic carrier bags, for online deliveries, cutting the required number of units by 250 million.

The news of Tesco’s ban follows yesterday’s announcement that UK supermarket chain Morrisons is trialling a 30p charge for its reusable plastic bags in a select number of stores across Wales.

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