Tesco 1 billion plastic banner with photos of employees in supermarket store
Photo courtesy of Tesco

UK supermarket chain Tesco has committed to removing 1 billion pieces of plastic in its own-brand packaging by the end of 2020. The initiative falls under the retailer's more extensive sustainability strategy of removing non-recyclable and excess packaging from its business completely.

The UK-based company is set to fulfil practices to support the commitment, including the removal of plastic trays from ready meals, secondary lids on products, sporks and straws and 200m pieces of plastic. It will also replace small plastic bags with a paper variant.

CEO of Tesco, Dave Lewis said that its 4Rs strategy (Remove, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) has already transformed the company's packaging. "Over the next twelve months, we will remove one billion pieces of plastic, further reducing the environmental impact of the products we sell," said Lewis. "By focusing on solutions that we can apply across all our UK stores and supply chain, we can make a significant difference and achieve real scale in our efforts to tackle plastic."

Since the company's sustainability announcement in 2018, Tesco has removed an estimated 4,000 tonnes of hard-to-recycle materials from its own-brand products.