Asda has removed 6,500 tonnes of plastic from its own brand packaging since launching its war on plastic a year ago.
CEO Roger Burnley claimed the figure was “significant step” towards the supermarket’s aim of making all packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.
Asda said it had reduced plastic in almost 1,000 individual product lines, from fresh fruit & veg to electronics and homeware, the equivalent weight of 600 million empty plastic bottles.
Changes have included swapping chilled ready meal trays from black plastic to foil, changing pizza bases from non-recyclable polystyrene to fully recyclable cardboard and replacing five million plastic bags on its bedding range with a cardboard band.
Asda has also changed all of its fresh produce trays from black plastic to clear and is working with packaging experts at Leeds Beckett University to look for and assess alternative packaging materials, with a report on progress due later this year.
“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,” said Burnley. “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.”