The British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer Tesco is launching a trial to remove a selection of plastic-wrapped fruit and vegetable to cut down on packaging waste. Right now the U.K. currently recycles 71% of all packaging waste. Companies around the world are aiming to make all their packaging 100% recyclable in order to reduce the amount of plastic being sent to landfill.
Tesco began their month-long pilot from 25th March at two of its Extra stores in Watford and Swindon; removing plastic packaging from 45 foods where loose options are available. The loose food items include apples, onions, mushrooms, peppers, bananas and avocados. The superstore business also wants to tackle this plastic waste at its express and Superstores in the near future.
Tesco announced last year that it would ban hard-to-recycle plastic packaging by the end of 2019 and make all packaging fully recyclable by 2025. The average household in the UK produces more than a tonne of waste every year. As the packaging starts when you buy a product it is the supplier’s role to provide packaging that can be recycled, this will save businesses through the UK time, money and ultimately cut-down on landfill space.
Large supermarkets are responsible for producing more than 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste each year, while consumers have increasingly requested a change as the environmental crisis caused by plastic grows. The U.K. introduced plastic bag charges four years ago since this has been put into place it has helped encouraging customers to start bringing their own shopping bags or buy a reusable one from supermarkets, although research shows that supermarkets still use billions of them each year.
Upon starting this scheme Sarah Bradbury, director of quality at Tesco, said: “We hope this trial proves popular with customers. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the results, including any impact on food waste.” This will be a huge benefit for the supermarket and for the environment on the move for the consumers to cut down on their plastic purchases.