UK supermarket ditches plastic-wrapped multipacks / Other retailer chains forecast to follow
Experts predict more UK supermarket chains will scrap plastics-covered multipacks after Tesco (Welwyn Garden City / UK; www.tesco.com) announced it was stopping the practice from March 2020 as part of its plastics-reduction programme – see Plasteurope.com of 28.08.2019. The retail giant in January 2020 said it would no longer wrap own-label and branded tins of soup, beans, spaghetti products, tomatoes, corn or tuna in plastics. This move, says Tesco, would eliminate 350 t of plastics from the environment. According to the retailer, 180,000 multipacks are bought every day across its 2,600-plus stores in the UK.

Tesco is planning to sell multipacks without plastic packaging starting in March (Photo: Tesco/Andrew Parsons)
Thomas Brereton, a retail analyst at research group GlobalData (London / UK; www.globaldata.com), said Tesco was a step ahead of its rivals. “While this is one announcement of many in a grocery industry that is awash with retailers declaring new sustainability policies, this move stands out as having the potential to drive significantly more tangible change, even at the threat of upsetting convenience-focused shoppers,” he added.

Brereton said with more than a quarter (25.8%) of the UK’s population doing most of its shopping at Tesco each week, the potential upside for the environment was substantial. “Furthermore, this will be a swiftly and widely executed strategy, unlike Asda or Waitrose’s refill stations, which currently sit in a small number of stores,” he added.

According to a report published in November 2019 by the Environment Investigation Agency (EIA, London; www.eia-international.org) and Greenpeace (London; www.greenpeace.org.uk), Tesco placed almost 260,000 t of plastic packaging on the market in 2019. This is a slight decrease in its plastic packaging footprint against 2018 – see Plasteurope.com of 06.12.2019.
04.02.2020 Plasteurope.com [244438-0]
Published on 04.02.2020

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