Tesco trials laser-etched avocados to reduce plastic waste

Tesco trials laser-etched avocados to reduce plastic waste

Sustainability

Tesco is introducing laser-etched avocados, replacing traditional barcode stickers on extra-large avocados with innovative laser etching. This change is part of a broader effort to enhance sustainability in their packaging practices.

The technology behind the laser etching comes from Westfalia Fruit, a leading global supplier of avocados. Westfalia conducted thorough trials to ensure that the laser etching process does not affect the quality, shelf life, or taste of the avocados. The technique uses high-powered lasers to remove a tiny section of the avocado skin, creating a durable "tattoo" with essential information like size and variety, beneficial for both customers and cashiers.

Additionally, Tesco is testing a shift from plastic tray packaging to recyclable cardboard containers for two of their most popular avocado varieties. This move aims to make packaging more environmentally friendly and easier to recycle.

© Tesco PLC
Tesco avocado buyer Lisa Gilbey said: We’re always looking for innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact of our products, and cut down on plastic waste in the home through changes to our packaging. We’re really excited to hear customer feedback on our new laser-etched avocados, avoiding the need for a barcode sticker that can easily be forgotten and left on when recycling through household food waste.

These trials will be conducted in approximately 270 Tesco stores in southeast England. If customer feedback is favourable, Tesco plans to expand the initiative across all their stores.

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