Asda chief executive announces actions to tackle its plastic use in its stores

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Asda president and chief executive Roger Burnley has announced that the retailer is taking action to reduce its plastic packaging use and to recycle more.  

Commitments from Asda have already been made, including ensuring all of its own brand packaging is recyclable by 2025, taking steps to reduce the quantity of plastic in water bottles and removing microbeads from all of its own brand cosmetics.  

The Asda boss has asked his colleagues to work out where they could remove more plastic from its products, without affecting the quality of the product. 

He said: “It’s a balance between avoiding plastic where we can but recognising that, currently, there are instances where some plastic is necessary to make sure our products reach our customers in the best condition, to avoid waste and have a smaller environmental footprint than the alternatives. 

“Our logic is to remove plastic wherever we can, and where it is required, to make it as recyclable as possible.” 

Some of Asda’s new actions to tackle its plastic problem include: 

  • Changing the polystyrene bases in its pizzas to cardboard to remove 178 tonnes of plastic from its customers’ homes 
  • Switching the 2.4 million plastic straws used in its cafes annually to paper 
  • Changing coloured drinks bottles to clear plastic, allowing 500 more tonnes of plastic to be recycled 
  • Eliminating single use coffee cups and plastic cutlery from its home offices by the end of 2018. 

Asda will also be launching a “zero profit” reusable coffee cup to help consumers reduce their reliance on single use cups, with hope of working towards removing single use cups from its stores and cafes by the end of 2019.  

The retailer is taking further action to phase out single use carrier bags from its stores by 2018 but has said that it will continue to donate to good causes using any profit from the sale of Asda Bags for Life.  

Asda is entering a partnership with experts in packaging technology at the Leeds Beckett University Retail Institute, and ABP, to find a solution to plastic and materials that can be recycled more. 

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