Two billion non-essential plastic pieces successfully removed by Tesco

Two billion non-essential plastic pieces successfully removed by Tesco

Business

Tesco, a leading UK retailer, proudly announces the successful removal of over two billion unnecessary plastic items from its business since the implementation of its innovative packaging strategy, known as the 4Rs (Remove, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle), in 2019.

Over the past 12 months alone, Tesco has identified and eliminated 500 million pieces of avoidable plastic. Notable achievements include:

  • Removal of more than 30 million plastic yoghurt lids
  • Elimination of over 29 million plastic components from limescale tablets packaging
  • Reduction of nearly 24 million plastic windows from doughnut packaging
  • Removal of almost 9 million pieces from nappy packaging

Building on these significant accomplishments, Tesco has released a comprehensive strategic report today. The report highlights the collective efforts required from retailers, industry stakeholders, and government bodies to revolutionise the UK's packaging approach. Some key proposals outlined in the report are as follows:

  • Advocating for a level playing field regarding packaging removal in produce
  • Supporting government initiatives to establish consistent kerbside recycling programs
  • Ensuring the feasibility and sustainability of a deposit return scheme
  • Driving industry-wide momentum for reusable packaging solutions

Tesco's 4Rs packaging strategy is designed to eliminate plastic where feasible, reduce its usage where elimination is not possible, increase reusability, and maximise recycling.

Since 2019, Tesco has made substantial progress by:

  • Removing more than 200 million bags from Tesco.com deliveries
  • Eliminating plastic wrapping from over 67 million tinned multipacks
  • Reducing 50 million plastic items from branded beers and ciders
  • Replacing 42 million plastic forks in prepared salads and rice bowls with wooden alternatives
  • Saving 14.2 million plastic pieces by discontinuing plastic chicken trays for whole chickens
Soft plastics in aisle credit Tesco PLC
Soft plastics in aisle © Tesco PLC

The 4Rs strategy has initiated a comprehensive transformation throughout Tesco's operations, scrutinising each packaging element and eliminating any unnecessary or non-recyclable materials. Tesco has proactively collaborated with its suppliers, providing them with a preferred materials list that prioritizes recyclability. Additionally, the retailer has stated its intention to cease stocking products with excessive or difficult-to-recycle packaging. Tesco has also supported its suppliers in developing sustainable packaging alternatives.

Tesco Responsible Sourcing Director Kené Umeasiegbu said: 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. 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.

Tesco remains steadfast in its commitment to minimising environmental impact and will continue to drive meaningful change in the retail industry and beyond.

Latest Packaging News

Coca-Cola launches 100% rPET bottles in Hong Kong
Sustainability

Coca-Cola launches 100% rPET bottles in Hong Kong

The Coca-Cola Company has debuted its first-ever 500ml Coca-Cola® Trademark brands packaged in 100%...
Registrations now open for London Packaging Week
Events

Registrations now open for London Packaging Week

Organiser Easyfairs has officially announced that registrations for London Packaging Week are open...
IATA Report: Mitigating single-use packaging in the airline sector
Sustainability

IATA Report: Mitigating single-use packaging in the airline sector

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has unveiled the "Reassessing Single Use...
PHARMAP 2024: Unveiling sustainable solutions with regional partners
Events

PHARMAP 2024: Unveiling sustainable solutions with regional partners

The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packaging Congress (PHARMAP 2024) brings together esteemed...
Procter & Gamble recalls 8.2 million defective laundry detergent packets
Business

Procter & Gamble recalls 8.2 million defective laundry detergent packets

Procter & Gamble is issuing a voluntary recall of certain packaging for Tide Pods, Gain Flings,...