What are supermarkets doing to fight plastic?

The Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to ban all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042. About 6.3bn tonnes of plastic waste had been generated globally by 2015, with almost 80% of it going to landfills or natural environment. It must stop, and supermarkets are trying everything they can to help.

Despite expanding the 5p charge on single-use plastic bags, major retailers in England still sold 2.1 billion in the last financial year. In a bid to tackle the problem, the PM has called on supermarkets to introduce “plastic-free” aisles and consider taxes and charges on single-use plastic items including, carrier bags, food packaging and drinks.

Take a look at what the top 3 supermarkets are going to do to combat the “scourge” of plastic:


By 2025, Tesco aims to have only recyclable or compostable packaging for all products. Along with the packaging weight to be halved compared to 2007.

They have removed all polystyrene from its fish packaging and claims that more than 78% of its packaging is recyclable, although this depends on the type of material accepted by local authorities.

92 tonnes of plastic has already been removed by replacing two layer plastic trays with single layer plastic.


Sainsbury’s have aimed to half their packaging by 2020 compared to what they used to use in 2005. They have also committed to remove all plastic cotton buds as this is one of the main sources of plastic pollution in the ocean.

Proudly they have already made a reduction of 33% in its own brand-packaging since 2006, from their recycling of plastic carrier bags.

Between 2015 and 2016, it also redesigned its two-pint milk bottles, saving 580 tonnes of plastic a year.


Since 2007 Asda have reduced the weight of its packaging by 27%, partly by introducing “skin” packaging on some of its meat products. It has also saved 82 tonnes of plastic by making its two-litre own-brand water bottles lighter.

At some stores they have also introduced these new bins located outside the front of the store where you can recycle your unwanted carrier bags.

With all of these supermarkets and others such as Aldi, Co-Op, Waitrose, Morrisons and even Marks & Spencer’s all doing their part, it is starting to make a difference. The plastic pollution in the ocean affects everyone on this planet so we all need to do what we can to stop it. So supermarkets need to everything in their power to make a difference where they can, and with this new ban coming in 2042 they have to act now.

By the looks of things, it is going to get better we all just have to pay attention to what we buy and recycle, recycle, recycle!

The world won’t change itself, we need to do it together!

If you don’t know why we need to keep plastic out of the ocean or what we can use instead of it then check out one of our previous blog that can tell you all about it: https://takeawaypackaging.co.uk/keep-plastic-out-the-ocean/

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