Tesco vows to drastically reduce plastic use for 2020

An ambitious plan by one of the world's largest retailers.

1y ago

Tesco, the biggest retailer in Britain, has revealed plans to drastically reduce plastic use for next year. The goal is to remove one billion individual pieces of plastic by the end of 2020.

According to Tesco, this will be done by replacing small plastic bags and containers with paper bags wherever possible. For example, the retail giant will stop using plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables as well as bakery products. Unnecessary lids, trays, wrappers and other such components made of plastic will also be ditched.

Photo by Thomas Le on Unsplash

Photo by Thomas Le on Unsplash

Furthermore, Tesco met 1,500 suppliers last August, making them aware that packaging will play a crucial part in the company's decision-making when it comes to products, meaning products that use hard-to-recycle packaging may no longer be stocked.

According to CEO Dave Lewis, this is part of a wider plan to 'Remove, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle' in order to transform packaging. Lewis has also confirmed that over the next 12 months, the company is going to remove 'one billion pieces of plastic, further reducing the environmental impact of the products we sell'.

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

Louise Edge, head of Greenpeace UK's ocean plastics campaign said this is definitely good news and a good start, but there is more to do, considering that last year Tesco produced more than 18 billion pieces of plastic.

She also praised the company for trying to reduce the number, rather than the weight, of pieces of plastic it uses. Whether packaging gets smaller or bigger, it still counts as packaging and it is still going to be difficult to recycle.

As the visible effects of plastic pollution become more evident, retailers and institutions around the world are spending a lot of energy and thought on the matter.

For example Sainsbury's, the second largest chain of supermarkets in the UK, has announced plans to halve the amount of plastic used by 2025.

Disposable plastic bag use in Britain has also been steadily going down since the introduction of a 5p charge in 2015.

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Comments (2)

  • Good move in the right direction!

      1 year ago
  • Nice! Although I wasn‘t the biggest fan of them at first, we‘re now using reusable fabric nets for fruit and veggie shopping. The nice side effect is that the produce can actually „breathe“ instead of being sealed in plastic packaging.

      1 year ago