The examples below are just some of the ways we have been working with suppliers to reduce packaging in the last 12 months. 

Removing polystyrene from our pizza bases

We’re replacing all our expanded polystyrene pizza bases with cardboard. Eighteen Tesco own-brand pizza lines will move to cardboard to help remove difficult to recycle packaging. Over 300 tonnes of expanded polystyrene will be replaced, saving 9.8g of plastic on average per line. We’ve changed 32.5m trays to cardboard.

Innovative new way to re-use plastic packaging

We’ve resurfaced one of our store car parks using the equivalent weight of 225,000 plastic carrier bags, saving over 900kgs of plastic from going to landfill or incineration. We’re always looking for new ways to re-use waste plastics and reduce carbon. The Tesco Extra Cuckoo Bridge, Dumfries was resurfaced using waste plastics that would have been destined for landfill or incineration.

The result is an asphalt performance that has not been compromised. By using the waste plastic the equivalent weight in fossil fuels has also been saved from extraction. The carbon footprint has also been reduced by over a tonne (1,044kg).

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Fully recyclable salad bags

Our organic bagged prepared salads are now made from Polyethylene (Polythene). PE film can be recycled into our 10p bags for life that are made from 94% recycled plastic. Recycled PE can also make long-life products such as park benches, bollards and waste bins.

PE film is similar to the plastic found in carrier bags and can be recycled in the same way. We’ll encourage our customers to bring the PE film bags to our larger stores to be recycled. Customers can also take the salad bags to anywhere that collects plastic carrier bags.

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Reducing single use cups in our cafés

Single use takeaway cups are a mix of paper and plastic which makes them difficult to recycle. We’re encouraging customers to bring their own reusable cup to our cafés. We’ll give them a discount of 10p off their beverage.

To further help in reducing single use cups a 10p charge will be added to all hot beverages served in a single use takeaway paper cup.

In a trial we saw a 71% reduction of disposable cup orders, so we’re rolling out the scheme to all our cafés. All ‘drink in’ hot beverages will continue to be served in a china cup.

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Removal of cardboard sleeve from bacon packaging

In early 2017, working with the packaging supplier Cranswick we made three improvements to our bacon packaging by removing the card sleeve, foil blocking and printing directly on the film. As a result of this 227.6 tonnes of packaging have been removed.

Reducing the plastic in our meat trays

Working with our food supplier Hilton and packaging supplier kp LINPAC we are now making our meat trays MAL which is easier to recycle and delivers a better quality recylate for the end market. A two layer plastic tray has now been replaced with single layer plastic, thereby making 84 million trays easier to recycle and removing 96 tonnes of plastic. As a result trays are now 5% lighter.