Tesco has announced that it will replace plastic-wrapped multipacks with plastic-free multibuys on tinned food. A total of 183,000 tinned multipacks are bought every day at Tesco and this move will see 67 million pieces of plastic eliminated.
The tins will be available individually, with no plastic wrap holding them together. They will still be eligible for multibuy deals – just without plastic. More than 40% of Tesco customers include multipacks in their shop. Multipacks of baked beans, tuna, tinned tomatoes and soup are among the most frequently-bought grocery items. The change applies to both Tesco own-brand products and branded products such as Heinz Beanz.
The move has been trialled at Tesco’s Bar Hill Extra store in Cambridge. The branch has a wide range of packaging trials under way to assess effectiveness and how customers respond.
The removal of plastic-wrapped multipacks is the first major trial to roll out from Bar Hill and will roll out across all Tesco stores from March 2, with no further plastic-wrapped multipacks ordered by Tesco from that date. Remaining stock will be allowed to sell-through.
The supermarket chain said this new initiative will help more than eight million households in the UK to reduce the amount of plastic they use. Tesco ceo Dave Lewis commented: “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, said: “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 of WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), 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.”
At the end of last year Tesco removed all hard-to-recycle materials from Tesco own-brand products and is working with suppliers to do the same. In August last year, Tesco also briefed 1,500 suppliers that packaging will be a factor in its decisions on which products are sold in its stores.