Asda has become the first of the 'big four' supermarkets to set out detailed plans about how it will reduce its use of plastic.
The supermarket, which accounts for 15.3% of the supermarket industry in the UK has also said it wants to create a more collaborative, open environment within the retail industry to help drive innovation and “unwrap” the plastics problem.
In a document named 'Plastic Unwrapped – our pledge to use less and recycle more', Asda has promised its customers that it will reduce the amount of plastic in its packaging by 10% this year, as well as work with its suppliers and other experts to investigate new options to replace plastic packaging and find more recyclable solutions.
What has Asda committed to doing?
• Removing 10% of plastic from its Own Brand packaging in the next 12 months and publishing regular updates for customers to follow its progress
• Introducing a zero profit re-usable coffee cup to give customers a great value alternative to single use cups.
• Remove all single use cups and plastic cutlery from its offices in 2018 and all its stores and cafes by the end of 2019.
• Phase out 5p ‘single use’ carrier bags from its shops by the end of 2018 and introduce a donation to good causes from the sale of its 'bags for life' so that charities don’t lose out.
• Work in partnership with the UK’s leading experts in packaging technology at the Leeds Beckett University Retail Institute as well as one of Asda’s biggest UK suppliers, ABP, on priority projects to develop new alternatives to plastics and more recyclable materials.
• Creating the Asda Plastic Ideas Hub, open to all from industry to individuals, offering a £10k award for every scaleable, workable idea that helps Asda to tackle its top plastic challenges – such as alternatives to plastic film.
Asda’s President and Chief Executive, Roger Burnley (pictured), outlined his commitment to reducing plastic in a blog published alongside the Plastic Unwrapped report. He said, “I truly believe that when you serve 18 million people each week and have the ability to make a difference to them, you should do it.
“I want Asda’s customers to know that they can trust us to take the lead on the issues that really matter to them. So we have challenged ourselves to look at what more we can do to reduce the amount of plastic in our business, and within our industry as a whole.”