UK – British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer, Tesco is ditching plastic wrapping of its own-label multipack drinks in the UK, in a move to save 45 million pieces of plastic a year.

The retailer will initially remove multipack wrapping from its own-brand fizzy drinks, saving 12 million pieces of plastic each year.

Individual cans will be available at the same price per unit under a multi-buy promotion that will also allow shoppers to buy different drinks within the same deal.

By allowing consumers to mix and match purchases, Tesco says that it is granting them more freedom of choice at no extra cost.

In addition, a further 33 million pieces of plastic will reportedly be removed in the autumn as the retailer plans to eliminate the plastic wrap for multipacks of children’s lunchbox drinks, energy drinks, water, and fruit juices.

Johnny Neville, Head of Packaging Development at Tesco, said: “Customers are focused on getting great value right now, but they still want to use less plastic.

“Not only is this move great news for the environment but it will also offer customers more choice and flexibility when it comes to fizzy drinks – at no extra cost. It could even work out much cheaper for customers who want a variety of drinks.”

In May 2021, Tesco stopped selling beers and ciders held together by soft plastic rings and shrink wrap, and now claims the move has helped it to save 50 million pieces of plastic a year.

The retailer has also removed multipack wrap from its tins, including branded and own-brand beans, soup, and tuna.

As part of its 4Rs strategy – which includes the target to remove 5 billion single-use plastic products by 2025 – Tesco has also trialed reusable packaging in partnership with Loop, offering brands including Coca-Cola, Heinz, and Persil in durable packaging that can be returned, washed, and refilled.

The Loop trial ended last week, with Tesco saying that it had been “positively received by customers who purchased more than 80,000 products over two years” and that it was now reflecting on feedback to explore future reuse opportunities.

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