UK – British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer, Tesco has launched a trial that aims to squeeze out waste packaging and save tons of waste cardboard by dumping ‘unnecessary’ toothpaste boxes.

Launched on 21 September, the trial involves major toothpaste brands such as Colgate, Oral B, Sensodyne, Aquafresh and Corsadyl. The trial is conducted on nearly 30 Tesco stores in the UK.

Tesco says the trial is intended to test the consumer’s reaction when branded toothpaste is no longer offered in unnecessary cardboard boxes.

The retailer said that the tubes will be sold loose, free from the outer cardboard box in the trial.

According to the retailer, the use of box-free toothpaste will be expanded to additional Tesco locations, potentially saving 680 tonnes of cardboard annually.

Tesco Oral Care buyer Felicity Bexton said: “We made a bold move to remove un-needed toothpaste boxes last November on our own brand and have had positive feedback from customers.

“Now we are working with the major toothpaste brands to join us on this journey.”

She added: “Not only is there an opportunity to remove this needless packaging, but it also means being able to transport more tubes in the same amount of space, helping us take delivery lorries off the road too.

“We think that for customers, the move makes sense because the first thing they do when they buy toothpaste is throwing the packaging box away!”

The move to reduce unnecessary toothpaste packaging is part of Tesco’s wider Remove, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle (4Rs) packaging strategy, which was launched in August 2019 to address the packaging waste crisis.

In November last year, the retailer removed cardboard boxes from its own-brand toothpaste, a move expected to save more than 55t of cardboard a year.

Colgate spokesman said: “We’ve watched Tesco’s ground-breaking move to scrap its own brand toothpaste boxes with interest and are delighted to support this upcoming trial.

“Should it be popular with shoppers we’ll be happy to roll it out to all Tesco stores and beyond.”

Earlier this last month, the retail giant axed plastic wrapping from soft drinks multipacks in a bid to slash plastic use.

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

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