New fully recyclable packaging for Tesco organic prepared salads

New fully recyclable packaging for Tesco organic prepared salads

We want to make it simpler for customers to recycle so our packaging is part of a closed loop, with materials used and reused. That’s why we’re making all Tesco packaging recyclable or compostable.

Our latest example is within our prepared salad range. Plastic film packaging is important for prolonging the life of fresh food and reducing food waste but it can be difficult to recycle and in some cases the plastic used isn’t recyclable.

In collaboration with our suppliers we’re reducing and simplifying the types of materials we use so there’s less packaging, that’s also easier to recycle. 

PE film is fully recyclable

Our organic bagged prepared salads are the first to move to PE film plastic. PE film is made from Polyethylene (Polythene) which is one of the world’s most popular plastics and readily recyclable. It’s enormously versatile which is suited to a wide range of applications. PE film can be recycled into our 10p bags for life that are made from 94% recycled plastic, 80% of which is recycled material from recovered Tesco packaging waste. Recycled PE can also make long-life products such as park benches, bollards and waste bins.

The previous bags were made from Oriented Polypropylene (OPP) which is not currently recycled by councils or in store through our plastic bag collections. 

Our new salad bags are made from PE film which is a single, easily recycled plastic. It’s very 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.

No cost to the customer

Customers will see no change in the quality of the product or rise in the cost. Tesco will absorb the cost of moving to the fully recyclable PE film.

The first products to hit stores are all from our organic range. They will be the Tenderleaf salad, Watercress-Spinach-Rocket mixed salad, Rocket and Watercress prepared salads. We’re working with our suppliers on how we could expand the use of PE film across all our prepared salad range.

Overall, over 78% of the packaging on all our own brand products is recyclable depending on if the local authority collect it. As part of our Little Helps plan, we have made the following commitments:

  • Making all packaging fully recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  • Ensuring that all paper and board used will be 100% sustainable by 2025.
  • Halving packaging weight by 2025 compared to 2007 levels.