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Tesco to stop sale of plastic-wrapped multipacks in stores | Business


Tesco is banishing shrink-wrapped multipacks of baked beans, soup and tuna from its aisles as part of a drive to slash its use of plastic packaging.

The store-cupboard staples are among the biggest selling groceries in UK supermarkets. Tesco said shoppers would not end up paying more because the packs would be replaced with permanent multi-buy deals on individual tins.

The packaging is being removed from Tesco’s own label products as well as from major brands such as Heinz, Green Giant, John West and Princes.

Shoppers will begin to see the changes in store from March when Tesco will cease to order products that are in plastic-wrapped multipacks.

For the time being, Heinz, part of the US food giant Kraft Heinz, will continue to supply other supermarkets with wrapped multipacks. It would need to invest in reconfiguring its manufacturing lines if the initiative was going to be scaled up, the company said.

“Heinz is committed to reducing packaging wherever possible whilst continuing to offer great value,” said a spokesman. “We see this as a positive and important step to help reduce our impact on the planet.”

Tesco has begun the huge task of removing non-recyclable and excess packaging from its business. Where packaging cannot be removed, for example where it prevents food waste, Tesco says it is working with its suppliers to reduce it to an absolute minimum. Last summer Tesco said it would not carry brands that used excessive packaging, with the decision to call time on multipacks saving 350 tonnes of plastic a year.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “We are removing all unnecessary and non-recyclable plastic from Tesco. Removing plastic-wrapped multipacks from every Tesco store in the UK will cut 350 tonnes of plastic from the environment every year. This is part of our plan to remove 1bn pieces of plastic in 2020.”

Paula Chin, sustainable materials specialist at WWF, said companies needed to remove unnecessary single-use plastic wherever possible. “If we want to protect nature we need more businesses to follow Tesco’s lead, before we run out of time,” she said.



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