Tesco is to scrap tinned plastic-wrapped multipacks from March, replacing them with plastic free multi-buys.
The move will eliminate 67 million pieces of plastic weighing 350 tonnes – the supermarket giant said 183,000 tinned multi-packs are bought every day at Tesco.
Tins will be available individually, with no plastic wrap holding them together, while customers can still buy them as part of regular multi-buy deals.
Multipacks of baked beans, tuna, tinned tomatoes and soup are among the most frequently-bought grocery items in the UK.
The change applies to both Tesco own brand products and branded products, like Heinz Beanz, Green Giant sweetcorn, Princes and John West tuna, amongst others.
Tesco said it hoped by working with suppliers this move is a catalyst for change across the sector.
Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, said: “We are removing all unnecessary and non-recyclable plastic from Tesco. As part of this work, removing plastic wrapped mult-ipacks from every Tesco store in the UK will cut 350 tonnes of plastic from the environment every year and customers will still benefit from the same great value ‘multipack’ price. This is part of our plan to remove 1 billion pieces of plastic in 2020.”
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.”
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of campaign group A Plastic Planet, urged Tesco and other retailers to do more.
“Imagine the impact they could make if they looked beyond their own labels and branded multi-pack tins to all packaging. Flexible plastic packaging used on multi-packs is the least recycled and least collected. Removing it is a no-brainer.
“But we need more action. Shoppers continue to be forced to suffer plastic at the hands of supermarkets. Tesco’s move today is just the tip of the iceberg, if they and all supermarkets, truly believe in tackling plastic pollution then they must go much further.”