Tesco removes plastic as it scraps tinned multi-packs

Tesco Extra Bar Hill, Cambridgeshire, UK.
Plastic reduction packaging on cans and flowers.
Picture by Ben Stevens
Friday 17th of January 2020

Tesco stores across South Devon will replace plastic-wrapped multipacks with plastic-free multibuys on tinned food, eliminating tonnes of plastic from the environment.

The supermarket chain will become the first UK retailer to remove plastic-wrapped multipacks from all Tesco stores and replace them with plastic-free multibuys. This will see 67 million pieces of plastic eliminated.

Tins will be available individually, with no plastic wrap holding them together with any more. They’ll still be eligible for multibuy deals. It is estimated that about 183,000 tinned multipacks are bought every day at Tesco.

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 Tesco own-brand products and branded products, such as Heinz Beanz. It will help South Devon’s households reduce the amount of plastic they use. It contributes to Tesco’s commitment to remove 1 billion pieces of plastic from its own-brand products by the end of 2020.
Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said: “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.”

The scheme will roll out across all South Devon Tesco stores from 2 March. It is part of Tesco’s 4Rs strategy – Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – which means it will remove non-recyclable and excess packaging from its business.

Where packaging can’t be removed – for example, where it prevents food waste – Tesco will work with its suppliers to reduce it to an absolute minimum. The retailer will explore new opportunities to reuse packaging and ensure anything left is recycled as part of a closed-loop system.

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.

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.”

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