Tesco cans multipack packaging

SEVERAL lines of multipacks are set to be replaced with plastic-free multibuys across all Tesco stores.

The supermarket has said that the move will eliminate 350 tonnes of plastic from the environment. Shoppers will instead be able to purchase multibuy deals – which the supermarket say will represent the same value as the multipacks did, just without the excess packaging.

The changes apply to Tesco own brand products and some branded lines, including Heinz, Branston, John West and Princes products. In 2019, the supermarket warned that it ‘reserves the right’ to stop stocking brands with excessive packaging.

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said, “We are removing all unnecessary and non-recyclable plastic from Tesco. As part of this work, removing plastic wrapped multipacks from every Tesco store in the UK will cut 350 tonnes of plastic from the environment every year and customers will still benefit from the same great value ‘multipack’ price. This is part of our plan to remove 1 billion pieces of plastic in 2020.” 

Georgiana de Noronha, president of Kraft Heinz northern Europe, commented, “We’re excited to be partnering with Tesco on this. While we know we have more to do, this initiative is good news for the environment, and for the millions of people who enjoy Heinz varieties every day, as they’ll still be able to benefit from the same great value for money.”

Paula Chin, sustainable materials specialist at WWF, added, “WWF supports Tesco’s steps in the fight against plastic pollution. We need to remove unnecessary single-use plastic wherever possible, to stop the contamination of the natural world. If we want to protect nature we need more businesses to follow Tesco’s lead, before we run out of time to fight for our world.” 

However, some have said that Tesco has the power to do more than just removing multipack packaging from certain lines. Sian Sutherland, A Plastic Planet co-founder, said, “Lets not forget the amount of power Tesco holds to meet the plastic crisis head on. Unfortunately this falls short of the mark of what is needed. It’s a drop in the plastic ocean.

“Imagine the impact they could make if they looked beyond their own labels and branded multi-pack tins to all packaging. Flexible plastic packaging used on multi-packs is the least recycled and least collected. Removing it is a no brainer.

“But we need more action. Shoppers continue to be forced to suffer plastic at the hands of supermarkets. Tesco’s move today is just the tip of the iceberg, if they and all supermarkets, truly believe in tackling plastic pollution then they must go much further.”