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Tesco Trials Removing Plastic from Fruit and Vegetables

Tesco has removed an extensive selection of plastic wrapped fruit and veg products from two of its stores. The retailer’s latest move toward sustainable packaging will trial removing packaged fruit and veg wherever a loose alternative exists.

A total of forty five packaged foods will be taken out of stores in Watford and Swindon. Customers will see fruit and veg including varieties of apples, mushrooms, peppers, onions, bananas and avocados free from their packaging.

This comes as a part of Tesco’s commitments to reduce the amount of packaging in its stores and ensure any remaining plastic has a clear purpose and is recyclable. The supermarket is working to create a closed loop for its packaging, including eliminating hard-to-recycle materials, reducing overall packaging volumes and making it easier for customers to recycle.

The retailer will be surveying shoppers in the stores to help understand the reaction to the trial. It will also be closely monitoring each of the included products to see if there is an increase in food waste.

Tesco’s Director of Quality Sarah Bradbury said:

“We want to remove as much plastic as we can from our products, only using what is necessary to protect and preserve our food.

“We hope this trial proves popular with customers. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the results, including any impact on food waste.

“Whatever happens, we’re going to keep reducing the amount of packaging we use and ensure everything on our shelves is fully recyclable.”

Last year, Tesco made strides towards its ambition for a closed loop packaging system, announcing its intention to stop packing products in hard to recycle materials by the end of 2019. Tesco recently became first retailer to publish a breakdown of its packaging data.

Tesco has also committed to:

  • Halve packaging weight by 2025
  • Make all packaging fully recyclable by 2025
  • Ensure all paper and board used is 100% sustainable by 2025

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