Tesco has announced it has removed more than two billion pieces of plastic from its UK business since the launch of its 4Rs – Remove, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle - packaging strategy in 2019.
The implementation of the 4Rs strategy has seen a business-wide programme of change that assesses every piece of packaging and removes all unnecessary and non-recyclable material.
Tesco has given its suppliers a list of preferred materials that are easier to recycle and stated that it reserves the right to no longer stock products in excessive packaging or hard-to-recycle materials.
The retailer then supported its suppliers to develop more sustainable packaging solutions.
In the last 12 months alone, 500 million pieces of unnecessary plastic have been identified and removed.
Most recently it removed more than 30 million plastic yoghurt lids and over 29 million pieces of plastic from limescale tablets packaging.
Other initiatives have resulted in removing nearly 24 million plastic windows from doughnut packaging and nearly nine million pieces from nappy packaging.
“We all have a responsibility to take care of our planet and removing unnecessary plastic is an important way that Tesco can reduce its environmental impact," said Kené Umeasiegbu, Tesco responsible sourcing director.
"As well as taking action in our own operations, we want to work with the whole industry to continue to build on the progress we’ve made to Remove, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle more."
Since the launch of the 4Rs strategy in August 2019, Tesco has reduced the size of its annual packaging footprint by more than 4,500 tonnes, including 2 billion pieces of plastic.
Fruit juices, crisps and cheese are all now being produced using less plastic, the retailer added.
© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest packaging news. Article by Robert McHugh. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.