Tesco changes cheese packaging to reduce plastic

Thursday, 07 January, 2021

Tesco changes cheese packaging to reduce plastic

UK supermarket multinational Tesco has announced it will change the packaging of its home brand hard cheeses, saving 260 tonnes of plastic each year.

The saving — equal in weight to 20 double-decker buses — has been made by switching from the traditional square block shape to oblong packaging and removing the current resealable zip.

New 400 g pack sizes are replacing 460 g packs and both they and existing 220 g packs have had their resealable zip removed.

Nearly 40 lines of Tesco’s own brand territorial hard cheeses have been reformatted.

A 260-tonne saving will also be achieved by Tesco ditching the plastic trays in which these cheeses are delivered, switching to a new cardboard shelf-ready format.

The price per kilo of these cheeses has not changed.

Tesco cheese buying manager Peter Wood said it was a revolutionary move for the UK cheese industry because the iconic square-shaped cheese packs have been around for decades.

“By changing the pack shape and also removing the resealable zip, we will be able to reduce plastic packaging on our brand hard cheeses by up to 41% against the former product, depending on the size of the block,” Wood said.

“Another benefit to customers is that these new chunkier pack sizes are easier to handle, so cutting, grating and slicing will be simpler.”

The move is part of the supermarket’s ongoing 4Rs (Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) strategy set up to remove excess and non-recyclable material from its business and recycle the rest.

As a part of this work, Tesco had committed to removing one billion pieces of plastic by the end of 2020. Plastic reducing efforts include removing tinned multipacks, secondary lids and the small bags used to pack loose fruit and vegetables.

Top image supplied by Tesco.

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