Tesco launches recyclable black plastic range

Tesco has urged the Mandate trade union to call off proposed strikes in two stores in the coming weeks
Tesco has led the development of detectable, recyclable black plastic on its own-brand products

Tesco has announced its latest action in the highly-publicised battle against plastic waste. By the end of this year, so-called "black plastic" on Tesco own-brand products will be 100% recyclable and detectable in automated recycling centres.

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29 October 2019 | 0

Fully recyclable, detectable black plastic trays will feature on over 100 individual Tesco own-label products before the end of this year, the supermarket retailer has said. At a recent national supplier briefing involving over 300 of its own-label and branded suppliers, Tesco reiterated its ambition to end hard-to-recycle plastics in its business before the end of 2019. That pledge has become a reality with the launch of this fully recyclable packaging across a suite of its own-label meat, chilled ready meals and fresh produce lines.

Pigment changes in this Tesco packaging, which involves infra-red detectability in black plastic trays used for meat and other products, will mean 448 tonnes of plastic* can now be recycled.

To achieve this Tesco has worked with five own-label suppliers. They are:

  • Hilton, which produces Tesco’s own-brand beef, pork, lamb, BBQ range and breakfast meats;
  • Manor Farm, which produces Tesco’s fresh packaged chicken and BBQ range;
  • O’Brien Fine Foods, which produces packaged cooked meats;
  • Carroll Cuisine, which produces sliced cooked meats;
  • Ballymaguire Foods, which produces chilled ready meals.

At a recent supplier briefing, Kari Daniels, CEO of Tesco Ireland, said this latest move by Tesco is part of the company’s global commitment to make all its packaging fully recyclable by 2025.  “Our target is to ensure we never use more packaging than is needed,” Daniels said. “Where we need packaging, we do our best to ensure that what we do use is from sustainable sources and where possible, goes on to be reused or recycled.”

All future black plastic trays on new Tesco own-label products will also use detectable plastic.

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