Preferred material list
As part of our commitment to make all packaging fully recyclable or compostable, we have reviewed every material used in our Own Brand packaging. In May 2018, we held open conversations with our suppliers about our latest position on packaging and explained our ambition to move to a closed-loop system for all materials. As a result of our review and consultation process we have developed a preferred material list for our product packaging.
Our preferred material list for our suppliers will evolve over time but aims to:
- Remove plastics that are most difficult to recycle, for example PVC, Polystyrene and PLA (Polylactic acid).
- Ban bioplastics that currently cannot be recycled within the UK’s recycling infrastructure.
- Promote materials where recycling is simple, or where Tesco are introducing recycling at stores.
- Work with industry and government to find solutions to packaging materials which currently cannot be recycled and where no appropriate alternative exists.
Not only will we work with suppliers, we will also collaborate with government, nationally and locally, to bring new packaging products to market and create new markets for recycled materials.
As part of our preferred materials list, we have categorised each material into ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’:
Red - Exit
These items of packaging are not easily recycled and can be potentially harmful to the environment. We aim to fully remove these from our products by 2020, if not sooner. Examples of such materials are PVC, Polystyrene and Watersoluble bio plastics.
Amber - Hold
These are items that require further collaboration with our suppliers and industry to ensure infrastructure and scientific development is in place to make them more recyclable. Over time this will mean that some materials categorised as ‘amber’ may change to ‘green’. However, this will not be possible for all materials in the ‘amber’ category. We also require innovation to create new packaging materials altogether and replace those we currently do not have alternatives for.
Green - Preferred
These packaging items are already easily recycled and have high recycled content. Examples of these materials are PET plastics, PP plastics for non-food applications, metal, glass and sustainably sourced wood, board and paper.