Tesco removes 67m pieces of plastic as tinned multipacks scrapped

Today Tesco has announced it will become the first UK retailer to scrap tinned multipacks from all its UK 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 any more. They’ll still be eligible for multibuy deals, representing the same good value for customers, just without plastic.

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 in the UK.

The change applies to both Tesco own brand products and branded products, like Heinz Beanz. It will help more than eight million households in the UK reduce the amount of plastic they use. It contributes to Tesco’s commitment to remove 1bn pieces of plastic from its own brand products by the end of 2020.

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said, “We are removing all unnecessary and non-recyclable plastic from Tesco. 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. This is part of our plan to remove 1 billion pieces of plastic in 2020.”

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.”

Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF, said, “WWF supports Tesco’s steps in the fight against plastic pollution. We need to remove unnecessary single-use plastic wherever possible, to stop the contamination of the natural world. If we want to protect nature we need more businesses to follow Tesco’s lead, before we run out of time to fight for our world.”

Tesco’s 4Rs strategy – Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - 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. In August last year, Tesco also briefed 1500 suppliers that packaging will be a factor in its decisions on which products are sold in its stores.

The move was trialled with customers in Tesco’s Bar Hill Extra store. Here, we have a wide range of packaging trials under one roof to assess effectiveness and how customers respond. The removal of plastic-wrapped multipacks is the first major trial to roll out from Bar Hill. It will roll out across all Tesco stores from 2 March.