Supermarket chain Asda has announced that it will move its own brand fresh ready meal range to coloured PET plastic packaging, replacing black plastic to aid recyclability.
Launching nationwide from 3 November, 97 of Asda’s fresh ready meal lines will move to new ‘Evolve’ by Faerch trays, made from natural cPET – a form of detectable and recyclable plastic. The move involves taking around 775 tonnes of black plastic out of circulation.
The ‘natural colour’ CPET packaging material, aimed at replacing black carbon plastic in ready meal packaging, was launched by Faerch earlier this year ( see letsrecycle.com story).
PET is commonly used in ready meal packaging as it is seen as being easily mouldable, allowing for the design of a tray with more than one compartment, and can withstand high temperatures – but the black coloured material is undetectable by many existing sorting systems. Faerch says its new natural CPET material has the same quality as existing packaging material, while also being detectable.
Asda said in a statement that the introduction of the material to its fresh ready meal line means that it will be the first retailer to have an entire range of own-brand fresh ready meal trays that are fully recyclable, as over half of its fresh ready meals are already in recyclable plastic or foil trays.
Commenting on the change, Paul Gillow, Asda’s vice president of own-brand and commercial strategy, said: “Over 130 million of our ready meals are purchased each year by our customers, so this change to packaging means customers don’t have to prioritise plastic reduction over grocery decision making, ensuring they can continue purchasing quality products at great prices, but with the added value of recycle-ready packaging.”
The retailer says the move forms part of its ongoing commitment to ‘use less and recycle more’. Sainsbury’s has also announced plans to phase out black plastic from its ready meal lines this summer.