Tesco to remove hard to recycle materials from its packaging

pic: John Palmer http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1326838 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Supermarket Tesco has told suppliers that it will remove hard to recycle materials from its packaging. 

This includes PVC, polystyrene, oxy degradable materials, PLA, water soluble bio plastics and industrial compostable. 


Speaking to suppliers at an Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) event, Tesco spoke about its ambitions for a closed-loop system across its UK operations, and has pledged to: 

  • Remove, reduce and redesign packaging materials and its use 
  • Improve recovery and recycling, and to hopefully work with the Government on a national recycling infrastructure 
  • Work to raise awareness to change consumer behaviour. 

From this, it is also consulting on other materials to develop a closed-loop solution or remove it from the business.  

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These materials include: home compostable plastics, oriented polypropylene, black plastic and complex laminates. 

Materials it will support include: sustainably sourced wood, board, paper & glassine, PET, glass, polypropylene (non food), HDPE & LDPE, polyethylene (preferred material for flexible film), steel and aluminium.    

For a closed-loop system to be implemented, Tesco has urged the Government to create a consistent recycling structure across the UK. 

Tesco chief product officer Jason Tarry said: “We are committed to reducing the total amount of packaging used across our business. Ideally we would like to move to a closed loop system.  

“We will work with our suppliers to redesign and reduce all packaging materials and after consultation with our leading suppliers earlier this year we will remove all packaging that is hard to recycle from our business by 2019.” 

He added: “To complete the journey to a closed loop approach, we stand ready to work with government to reform the current approach to recycling in the UK.” 


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