Suppliers are being told to either deliver vegetables loose or in compostable packets to speed up scrapping plastic.
Over the last few years there has been a steady shift from the fully pre-packaged plastic-packed supermarket of the 90’s back to a more environmentally friendly “naked” approach. Looking back at the history of food retail, some might see a circular return to old-fashioned grocery shops.
Tesco have ramped up efforts to axe vegetables in plastic packaging, meaning shoppers will soon be buying more loose fruit and vegetables.
The store wants to eliminate plastic packaging from five billion groceries by 2025 and suppliers are being told to either deliver vegetables loose or in compostable wrapping to speed up scrapping plastic.
Some other supermarkets have already opted for a “bring your own” approach to packaging, with food such as cereals being in large containers for customers to help themselves from by filling their own containers or buying a reusable one from the store itself. Tesco is also pressing ahead with stocking more products that can be refilled by consumers who bring their own containers into stores. All major supermarkets have signed up to guidelines by sustainability organisation Wrap to sell loose produce by 2025.
Apples, bananas, broccoli and cucumber will be among the first to be sold without plastic wrapping. Other items that will soon be sold with no packaging include aubergines, avocados, carrots, onions and peppers.
WRAP, the circular economy and resource efficiency experts, thinks 80% of fruit and vegetables can be sold with no wrapping. It estimates this will save more than 21,500 tonnes of plastic being thrown in the bin every year.
Tesco group quality director Sarah Bradbury said: “We’ve already made progress to minimise the environmental impact of our packaging, but we know there is more we can do with suppliers on the issue of plastic waste.”
“We’re bringing suppliers together to work solutions because we are determined to go further and accelerate our progress, with a focus on the areas of greatest impact.”