Tesco 1

Source: Tesco

Tesco is trialling plans for a major reduction of plastic in its fruit & veg aisles.

The supermarket has removed an “extensive” amount of packaging from products at its Watford and Swindon Extra stores, in a move it plans to roll out across the UK if successful.

Tesco said it would be removing packaged fruit & veg wherever a loose alternative existed, with 45 packaged foods including varieties of apples, mushrooms, peppers, onions, bananas and avocados to be taken out of packaging.

It said it was committed to reducing the amount of packaging in its stores and ensuring any remaining plastic had a clear purpose and was recyclable. It would survey shoppers in the two stores to gauge reaction to the trial, it said.

Read more: Iceland trials packaging-free fruit & veg at The Food Warehouse

“We want to remove as much plastic as we can from our products, only using what is necessary to protect and preserve our food,” said Tesco director of quality Sarah Bradbury.

“We hope this trial proves popular with customers. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the results, including any impact on food waste.

“Whatever happens, we’re going to keep reducing the amount of packaging we use and ensure everything on our shelves is fully recyclable.”

Last year Tesco announced its ambition for a closed loop packaging system, with a target to stop packing products in hard-to-recycle materials by the end of 2019. It has also committed to halving packaging weight by 2025, making all packaging fully recyclable by 2025 and ensuring all paper and board used is 100% sustainable by 2025.