Tesco cuts plastic on multipack drinks to support consumer choice and planetary health
01 Aug 2022 --- UK supermarket Tesco is cutting plastic on multipack drinks in a move expected to save 45 million pieces of hard-to-recycle plastic annually. Meanwhile, individual cans will continue to be sold at the same price per unit as a part of a multi-buy promotion.
The multi-buy option also gives customers more freedom as they are now able to mix and match purchases, including lemonade, cola, ginger beer, soda and tonic water.
“Customers are focused on getting great value right now, but they still want to use less plastic. Not only is this move great news for the environment but it will also offer customers more choice and flexibility when it comes to fizzy drinks – at no extra cost. It could even work out much cheaper for customers who want a variety of drinks,” says Johnny Neville, Tesco’s head of packaging development.
“Basically it’s more choice, same value but less plastic.”
Action against multipack plastic
The supermarket has stepped up its campaign against “unnecessary plastic” by removing the multipack wrap from many of its own brand food and drinks.
Initially, 12 million pieces of plastic a year will be saved from use on all own-brand canned fizzy drinks. The multipacks of “4s” used to cost £1 (US$1.22) – now the price is 50p a can or four for £1.
In addition, a further 33 million pieces of plastic will be removed in the autumn as plastic multipacks are removed from kids’ lunchbox drinks, energy drinks, water and fruit juices.
In January 2020, Tesco saved 67 million pieces of plastic a year by removing multipack wraps from all of its tins, including branded and own-brand beans, soup and tuna.
In May 2021, it stopped selling beers and ciders in soft plastic multipack wraps as part of a move that saved 50 million pieces of plastic a year.
Tesco’s 4Rs packaging strategy aims to remove plastic where it can, reduce where it can’t, reuse more and recycle what’s left.
Progress to date
Since the launch of the 4Rs strategy in August 2019, Tesco says it has removed 1.7 billion pieces and further reduced packaging by more than 3000 metric tons from its annual footprint.
Fruit juices, crisps and cheese are all among the products now being produced using less plastic.
In other news, Tesco has stopped selling products housed in reusable packaging managed by TerraCycle’s Loop platform after they were available to online shoppers for 12 months and in selected stores for nine months.
Edited by Joshua Poole
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