Tesco is following in the footsteps of Morrisons, Iceland and Asda in introducing plastic-free Christmas ranges this year.
Tesco has become the latest UK supermarket to announce efforts to reduce plastic in its Christmas range this year.
Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Iceland have recently introduced seasonal products that use less or no single-use plastic, a development activists said was “promising.”
A truckload of plastic enters the ocean every minute and UK supermarkets produce 800,000 tonnes every year, according to Greenpeace. As packaging, plastic has a short life, but as pollution, it can last for hundreds of years.
Tesco says so has removed more than 20 million pieces of single-use plastic from its seasonal range, including cookies, cards and lights.
A plastic layer has been removed from Tesco’s packaging on Christmas puddings and sponges, saving 1.78 million pieces of plastic from the Christmas range, according to the supermarket, and its private label cookies are plastic-free for the first time. time, which will cut pieces of more than 14 m.
The UK’s largest supermarket has also removed glitter from all its single-use products and packaging, making its wrapping paper, gift bags, cards and crackers now widely recyclable.
Asda also recently launched its first sustainable Christmas range, which it says will save 66 tons of plastic this year, including cards, wrappers and dull gift bags. The supermarket is selling festive cookies that are made from 100% recyclable content, including the gift inside, as well as a variety of recyclable gift bags and hanging decorations.
Sonal Patel, Asda’s holiday purchasing manager, said sustainability is something customers are passionate about. “This is another important step in our journey as a retailer to make all of our private label packaging, whatever the material, 100% recyclable by 2025.”
Earlier this month, Iceland launched its ‘plastic-free Christmas range’ for the second year in a row. The number of plastic-free Christmas lines within the range is now 24, up from 18 last year.
Meanwhile, Morrisons has removed the glitter from all of its private label ranges, including cards, cookies, wrapping paper, gift bags, flowers, plants, and wreaths.
Christine Bryce, Morrisons home director, said they took the step so their customers can enjoy their festivities “without worrying about environmental impact.”
Waitrose has also stopped selling Christmas cookies containing plastic toys and puzzles this year, while Marks & Spencer has stopped using black plastic for its holiday puddings as part of its goal of ensuring all of its packaging is recyclable by 2022.
Morrisons has removed glitter from all of its own brand ranges. Image: Morrisons
Nina Schrank, a plastics activist at Greenpeace UK, said Tesco’s move was “great news.”
She said: “It is an important commitment given the damage that we all know that glitter and disposable plastic are causing in our marine environment. Now we want Tesco to go further and show even greater ambition by setting market-leading targets for reuse and recharge systems both in store and online across as much of its range as possible. “
Schrank told Positive News that he welcomed the move by other supermarkets, but added that there were other steps they could take. “It is promising to see UK supermarkets taking steps to reduce plastic on their Christmas lines. This is a step in the right direction, but much remains to be done. Throughout the year, supermarkets are responsible for pumping thousands of tons of disposable packaging. “
This is a step in the right direction, but much remains to be done.
He said a “serious and systemic transition” was needed from single-use packaging.
Friends of the Earth activist Tony Bosworth also welcomed the ads from the supermarkets, saying they “are right to ditch unnecessary plastic this Christmas.”
He said: “People can still enjoy the holiday season without the glitter and mindless packaging that adds to the waves of plastic pollution that dump into our environment each year and threaten our wildlife.”
Bosworth added that “we must go much further to end the scourge of plastic pollution” and called on the UK government to set targets for companies to phase out the use of unnecessary plastic.
Lead Image: Nick Fewings