Tesco has announced it removed one billion pieces of plastic from its UK operations last year.
The retail giant’s initiative included the removal of plastic from the wrap of branded and own-label tinned multi-packs and secondary lids from yoghurts, fresh cream, picnic salads and baby wipes.
Tesco also worked to remove plastic from branded, own-label greetings cards, Christmas products and bags used to pack fruit, vegetables and bakery items.
The one billion target is part of the firm’s commitment to tackle plastic pollution through its packaging strategy.
The company estimates it has reduced its annual packaging footprint by 3,480 tonnes since the launch of its new ‘4Rs’ strategy in August 2019.
Tesco Quality Director Sarah Bradbury said: “Our own-label and branded suppliers have had a lot to contend with in 2020 so removing a billion pieces of plastic is fantastic progress.
“Our work to remove, reduce, reuse and recycle will continue into 2021. There is no place for unnecessary or non-recyclable packaging in our business.”
Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF, commented: “Businesses, governments and households have all got an important part to play, so it’s encouraging to see Tesco delivering against their commitments to significantly reduce the amount of plastic we use.”
According to recent research by the product review platform Which?, almost two-thirds of the UK’s best selling branded groceries come in packaging, which is not fully recyclable.