NEWS: Is Tesco doing enough?

There's been a mixed reaction to plans by Tesco to save 350 million tonnes of plastic a year by getting rid of shrink-wrapped multipacks.

The supermarket says the changes, from March 2, will apply to canned foods such as soups, baked beans and tinned vegetables.

Britain's biggest supermarket is working with firms such as Heinz and Green Giant on the first change of its kind by a major UK retailer.

Tesco sells 183,000 tinned multipacks a day and they are bought by more than 40 per cent of its customers.

Environmental group Greenpeace says it welcomes the decision to get rid of "pointless plastic".

But figures show the UK is throwing away more than 4.5 million tonnes of food every year.

Lindsay Boswell from charity FareShare says it's a massive problem which the supermarket - and wider sector - needs to address.

He said: "Food waste has a bigger impact on the environment and climate change than plastics.

"We all care about plastics and we're beginning to care about food waste a little bit - but we need to do a so so much more.

"The real problem is is in the supply chain. That's where the real real volumes are wasted."

Tesco has a commitment to remove one billion pieces of plastic from its own brand products

by the end of 2020.

Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF, said: “WWF supports Tesco’s steps in the fight against plastic pollution.

"We need to remove unnecessary single-use plastic wherever possible, to stop the contamination of the natural world.

"If we want to protect nature we need more businesses to follow Tesco’s lead, before we run out of time to fight for our world.”

Georgiana de Noronha, President of Kraft Heinz Northern Europe, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Tesco on this.

"While we know we have more to do, this initiative is good news for the environment, and for the millions of people who enjoy Heinz varieties every day, as they’ll still be able to benefit from the same great value for money.”

At the end of last year Tesco removed all hard-to-recycle materials from Tesco own brand products and says it is working with suppliers to do the same.

In August last year, Tesco also briefed 1,500 suppliers that 'packaging will be a factor in its decisions on which products are sold' in its stores.

The retailer says it will 'explore new opportunities to reuse packaging and ensure anything left is recycled as part of a closed loop system'.

The latest multipack move was trialled with customers in Tesco’s Cambridgshire Bar Hill Extra store.

Bosses say they had a wide range of packaging trials under one roof to 'assess effectiveness and how customers respond'.

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