Supermarket chain Tesco has today announced that it is to stop selling plastic-wrapped multipacks and allow consumers instead to have multibuy deals on tinned food from 2 March.
And, the supermarket chain said trials it had conducted showed that customers were content without packaging, as opposed to switching to an alternative material.
With 183,000 tinned multipacks bought every day from Tesco, the company claims the measure will eliminate 67 million pieces or 350 tonnes of plastic every year.
Tesco CEO 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 tonnes of plastic from the environment every year and customers will still benefit from the same great value ‘multipack’ price.
“This is part of our plan to remove one billion pieces of plastic in 2020.”
The company claims more than 40% of Tesco customers include multipacks in their shop and that multipacks of baked beans, tuna, tinned tomatoes and soup are among the most frequently bought grocery items in the UK.
Multipack deals will still apply for the purchase of the same number of tins individually that used to be wrapped together.
This change applies to all plastic-wrapped tinned multipacks sold at Tesco. It applies to Tesco own brand products and branded products.
Specific products to which the changes apply include Tesco and Heinz soups, Tesco, Heinz and Branston baked beans and spaghetti products, Tesco tinned tomatoes, Tesco and Green Giant sweetcorn and Tesco, Princes and John West tuna.
Georgiana de Noronha, president of Kraft Heinz Northern Europe, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Tesco on this. 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.”
The move was trialled with customers in Tesco’s Bar Hill Extra store, located about four miles northwest of Cambridge.
Here, the company carries out a range of packaging trials to assess effectiveness and how customers respond.
A Tesco spokesperson told letsrecycle.com the plastic-free multibuys scheme had gone down well and that customers were content without wrapping, even from alternative sources such as cardboard.
Tesco says the removal of plastic-wrapped multipacks is the first major trial to roll out from Bar Hill.
Tesco has committed to removing one billion pieces of plastic from its own brand products by the end of 2020.
It claims it removed all hard-to-recycle materials from its own brand products at the end of 2019 and is working with suppliers to do the same.
It says it briefed 1500 suppliers that packaging will be a factor in its decisions on which products are sold in its stores last August.