// Asda says it has removed 6500 tonnes of plastic packaging since Feb 2018
// Achieved by removing the equivalent weight of 600m empty plastic bottles from 1000 own-brand items
// Asda also pledged to make all of its plastic recyclable by 2025
Asda has announced it has removed 6500 tonnes of plastic from own-brand product packaging in the past 12 months.
The Big 4 grocer said it achieved this in almost 1000 own-brand items, from fresh fruit and veg to electronics and homewares, by removing the equivalent weight of 600 million empty plastic bottles.
Asda said the milestone marked a significant step towards its commitment to reduce plastic that is used in the packaging of its own-brand range of items.
Some of the changes that have been implemented over the last 12 months include swapping family chilled ready meal trays from black plastic to foil, changing pizza bases from non-recyclable polystyrene to fully recyclable cardboard, replacing five million plastic bags on its bedding range with a cardboard band, taking plastic covers off over 50 million greetings cards, and removing plastic windows and film from over 1.6 million mince pies over Christmas.
Asda said it had also taken steps to make its packaging more recyclable, including changing all of its fresh produce trays from black plastic to clear, and making all of its packaging 100 per cent recyclable by 2025.
The retailer added that it has introduced a new plastic principle embedded throughout the business, with the aim of ensuring all new packaging designs avoid the use of unnecessary plastic without impacting on food waste or shelf life.
For example, where there is no current viable alternative to plastic, Asda pledged to use the most recyclable materials made from recycled content wherever possible.
However, the retailer added that this was only the beginning of the journey and was committed to further reducing the amount of plastic plastic used by working with industry bodies and relevant organisations to share best practice and develop new ideas.
“Making changes of this scale in a business of this size is never easy, but I was clear last year that we needed to take a root and branch review of what packaging we use for our products,” Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said.
“Our customers expected this of us and while we’ve reached a major milestone, we know there is more that can be done and we are committed to making meaningful changes wherever possible.
“In many cases packaging is still essential to protect against waste, but avoiding the use of unnecessary plastic will rightly be the starting point for all of our packaging designs in future.”