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Supermarkets have made huge commitments to customers involving cutting down their plastic use on food products. It comes as retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons aim to become more sustainable.

Tesco

Supermarket giant Tesco recently became the first major retailer to scrap soft plastic rings and shrink wrap packaging from all beers and ciders in its UK stores.

It is thought that this will lead to 50 million fewer pieces of unrecycled plastic being produced each year.

Tesco Quality Director Sarah Bradbury said: “We are working hand in hand with some of the world’s biggest brands to tackle the problem of unnecessary plastic.

“Our mission is to remove, reduce, reuse and recycle so we use as little material as possible and ensure that all the packaging in our stores can be easily recycled.”

The supermarket has also begun rolling out soft plastic recycling points to stores across the UK. 

Customers can return items like bread bags, crisp packets and salad bags to points in store which are used to make new packaging. 

Sainsbury’s

Retailer Sainsbury’s has already made huge steps in reducing their packaging use, with future plans swell.

They were the first supermarket to remove black plastic trays from chilled ready meals, saving 1,000 tonnes of hard to recycle plastic each year.

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The ready meals are now packed in a recyclable alternative. 

Reusable bags in the fruit and vegetable aisles are available for customers as well as plastic being removed from organic banks, easy peeler citrus fruits and single loose cauliflowers.

The supermarket has also teamed up with Prevented Ocean Plastic to use more recycled plastic on products. 

It will aim to turn plastic collected from the coast into packaging on its food.

The recycled packing will be used on foods like strawberries and fresh fish products.

Director of Product, Packaging and Innovation at Sainsbury’s Claire Hughes said: “Using Prevented Ocean Plastic is one change we’re making to our supply chain to help us remove, reduce, recycle and reuse plastic.

“Not only will it have a positive environmental impact by preventing plastic from polluting the ocean, but it will also have an important social impact by allowing our customers to make sustainable choices and support overseas coastal communities at risk of ocean plastic pollution.”

Morrisons

In a bit to cut down on plastic use, Morrisons recently announced that it would stop producing its loyalty card in physical form and would instead move forward digitally. 

Morrisons also said it will remove all plastic carrier bags from its stores over the next year.

The supermarket chain will switch from offering “bags for life” to a paper alternative which has been tested to carry a heavy weight.

Morrisons also no longer buys plastic drinking straws as well as only buying cotton buds with paper stems, rather than plastic.

David Potts, Chief Executive of Morrisons said: “Reducing the damage caused by plastic is one of the most challenging issues society can address. Because we make most of the fresh food we sell, we’re in an important position to make changes to our packaging.” 

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