Tesco meets target of removing one billion pieces of plastic

TESCO has announced that it has met its target of removing one billion pieces of plastic from its stores in just one year.

The goal was part of the supermarket’s commitment to tackle plastic through its 4Rs strategy: to remove it where it can, reduce where it can’t, reuse more and recycle what’s left.

The move saw Tesco remove plastic shrink wrap around branded and own-label tinned multi-packs; secondary lids from yoghurts, fresh cream, picnic salads and baby wipes; plastic wraps from branded own-label greeting cards; small plastic bags used for loose fruit and vegetables; and plastic from Christmas products.

Tesco quality director, Sarah Bradbury, said, “Our own-label and branded suppliers have had a lot to contend with in 2020 so removing a billion pieces of plastic is fantastic progress. Our work to remove, reduce, reuse and recycle will continue into 2021 – there is no place for unnecessary or non-recyclable packaging in our business.”

Paula Chin, sustainable materials specialist at WWF, said, “Plastic pollution continues to be one of the most visible symptoms of the environmental crisis we’re currently facing. Businesses, governments and households have all got an important part to play, so it’s encouraging to see Tesco delivering against their commitments to significantly reduce the amount of plastic we use. We look forward to welcoming further initiatives of this scale in 2021 and beyond.”

Tesco said it has also met with 1,500 suppliers to let them know that packaging will form a key part of its decision-making process which determines what products are sold in stores. The retailer made it clear that it reserves the right to no longer stock products that use excessive packaging or hard to recycle materials.