The retailer has transitioned its Just Essentials mince range into the new, flexible and lighter plastic film packaging, which is also recyclable. The move would save more than 60 tonnes of plastic each year, Asda said.
The new packaging, which is now available in stores and online, contains 60% less plastic than the range’s previous solution. It is fully recyclable through Asda’s in-store collection points at 250 of its largest stores, which will help to remove 67.6 tonnes of plastic from Asda’s supply chain annually.
The vacuum-pack method of packaging removes the oxygen that typically causes a product to eventually spoil, meaning the mince also had a longer shelf life than before, the retailer said.
Thanks to the new method the pack is also smaller in size, taking up less space in the fridge, while containing the same amount of beef mince as before the change, it added.
The switch marks the latest in a string of changes from the supermarket as it continues to head towards its target of 100% recyclable packaging by 2025.
Last year, Asda also removed best before dates on almost 250 fresh fruit & veg products and changed its own-label yoghurts from a use-by to a best before date, to help customers reduce food waste in the home and save money.
“We’re always looking at new ways that we can make positive changes which will benefit both our customers and the planet, and we believe that this is one of those changes,” said Jon Wells, sustainable packaging manager at Asda.
“Not only does this improve shelf life and provide greater convenience for our customers, it also removes tonnes of non-recyclable plastic from our supply chain, reducing our carbon footprint.”
Asda’s latest ESG report – which provides an annual review on the progress it has made towards meeting its environmental targets – revealed it had increased the proportion of own-label packaging that can be recycled to 93% in 2022.
The move to vacuum-packed mince follows similar switches form the likes of Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Lidl and Tesco over the past year. However, the consistency of the mince within the new packaging has come under fire from consumers – with some likening it to textureless “mush”.