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Tesco to stop using plastic-wrap for multipack tins in stores

Kalila Sangster
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - 21st March 2011: Front entrance sign of a Tesco Superstore supermarket at the Hermiston Gait Retail Park in Edinburgh. Tesco divide their UK stores into six categories, with superstores such as this one being classed as a large supermarket.
The supermarket giant is scrapping plastic wrapping from all all tinned food. Photo: Getty

Tesco (TSCO.L) is removing plastic wrapping from all its multipack tins as part of a pledge to cut down on plastic waste.

The supermarket says the move will save 350 million tonnes of plastic a year.

The changes will begin on 2 March, when Tesco will stop ordering plastic-wrapped multipacks. Customers could continue to see some plastic-wrapped items on shelves after this time as sells down remaining stocks.

Plastic wrapping will be scrapped from all all tinned food, including store-cupboard staples like baked beans, sweetcorn, soup, tuna, and tinned tomatoes. The changes will apply to all Tesco own-brand tins as well as major canned food brands such as Heinz, Green Giant, John West, and Princes.

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More than 40% of Tesco customers buy tinned multipacks, with 183,000 sold in stores across the UK every day.

The supermarket giant said the removal of multipacks will not mean that customers will pay more as they would be replaced with permanent multi-buy deals on individual tins.

The company said the pledge will remove 67 million pieces of plastic from its stores, taking it another step closer to its aim of cutting out one billion pieces from its own products by the end of 2020.

Tesco chief executive 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 million tonnes of plastic from the environment every year and customers will still benefit from the same great value ‘multipack’ price.”

At the end 2019, Tesco removed all hard-to-recycle materials from its own-brand products and is working with suppliers to do the same. The group has warned 1,500 suppliers that packaging will be a deciding factor on which products are sold in its stores.

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Tesco sells over 100 million Heinz products in plastic-wrapped multipacks every year.

Heinz said it is looking into similar initiatives with other retailers, estimating that if it could be implemented across the entire market, it would help reduce carbon emissions by as much as 3,300 tonnes.

Georgiana de Noronha, president of Kraft Heinz in Northern Europe, said: “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 our multipacks provide.”