UK supermarket chain Tesco has enhanced its commitment to sustainability with plans to remove plastic trays to pack fresh chicken from next year.

As part of this commitment, the retailer will replace tray and film from 16 million of its own brand medium, large and extra-large chickens with a single bag.

Additionally, Tesco will reduce the overall weight of plastic used to package its whole fresh birds by 30%.

Tesco quality director Sarah Bradbury said: “We’re focused on removing any plastic which is unnecessary, reducing anything that is excessive, introducing reusable options, and making sure everything that’s left is recyclable.

“Our new chicken pack is a great example of how we are redesigning our packaging to use less plastic, and at the same time we have made it easier and safer for customers to use.”

Tesco has launched the new packaging following successful trial at its store in Bar Hill. The packaging is more hygienic and easier to handle, according to the company.

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The commitment is part of Tesco’s 4Rs strategy – Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – to remove non-recyclable and excess packaging across its operations.

In October this year, Tesco, Kellogg and the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) launched a five-month trial to collect cartons at in-store recycling points.

Earlier this year, the supermarket chain stopped offering plastic wrapped multi-packs, thereby removing 67 million pieces of plastic from the environment.

Currently, Tesco is conducting a ten-store trial for hard to recycle soft plastic packaging using in store collection stations.