TESCO has announced it is to stop ordering beer and ciders that are held together by soft plastic rings and shrink wrap from this month.
The supermarket said that the ‘groundbreaking’ move is being made ‘in hand’ with ‘many’ of the leading drinks giants. It expects that it will lead to 50 million fewer pieces of unrecycled plastics being produced each year.
Beer and cider brands who sell to Tesco will now be required to use materials for multipacks such as cardboard sleeves, boxes, or a rigid plastic that can be easily recycled via kerbside collections. The supermarket cited Heineken’s switch from plastic rings to a cardboard alternative, dubbed green grip, as an example of such packaging.
Tesco’s quality director, Sarah Bradbury, commented, “We are working hand in hand with some of the world’s biggest brands to tackle the problem of unnecessary plastic.
“Our mission is to remove, reduce, reuse and recycle so we use as little material as possible and ensure that all the packaging in our stores can be easily recycled.”
James Crampton, corporate affairs director at Heineken UK, said, “Never has sustainability been so high on the agenda and we are incredibly proud to work with Tesco, who like us, see the important role we both play in helping to protect the future of our planet.
“Green grip eliminates the plastic rings on cans of beer and cider – it’s a game-changer that impacts hundreds of millions of packs of beers and ciders and removes the equivalent plastic of 94 million plastic bags.”
Paula Chin, WWF’s sustainable materials specialist, hailed the move. She said, “Plastic pollution is one of the most visible symptoms of the environmental crisis and is devastating our natural world. We welcome this positive action from Tesco.
“If we are to achieve our shared goal to halve the environmental impact of the average shopping basket, we need collective action across retailers and brands to remove and reduce all problematic plastics.”