Tesco reports to have removed one billion pieces of plastic in 2020


Tesco has announced to have permanently removed one billion pieces of plastic from its UK business in 2020.

The one billion target was part of Tesco’s commitment to tackle plastics through its ‘4Rs’ packaging strategy: To remove it where it can, reduce where it can’t, reuse more and recycle what’s left.

Tesco Quality Director, Sarah Bradbury, commented on the announcement: “Our own-label and branded suppliers have had a lot to contend with in 2020 so removing a billion pieces of plastic is fantastic progress.

“Our work to Remove, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle will continue into 2021 – there is no place for unnecessary or non-recyclable packaging in our business.”

The retailer announced its goal to remove one billion pieces of plastic packaging from products in its UK stores by the end of 2020 in late 2019.

In early 2020, Tesco reports to have become the first UK retailer to remove plastic wrapped multipacks from its stores and sell loose cans at the same price, a change that has saved 67 million pieces of plastic annually.

In July, Tesco launched an online shopping service with Loop that delivers groceries in reusable packaging throughout the country.

Top five initiatives that Tesco reports removed plastic from their operations:

  • Removing multipack wraps from own label and branded tins, like Heinz Beans, cut 67 million pieces of plastic from the company’s annual totals.
  • Working with greeting cards supplier Hallmark to remove plastic covers from own-label and branded cards saved 44 million pieces of plastic a year.
  • Removing secondary lids from products saved over a hundred million pieces of plastic: 54 million pieces from baby wipes, 34 million from pots of cream, 34 million from salads.
  • Removing over 20 million pieces of plastic from the company’s 2020 Christmas range. Crackers, lights, cards and puddings have reportedly all been produced using less single use plastic.
  • Removing plastic trays from sausage rolls and slices saved over 24 million pieces of plastic.