Tesco packaging announcement – Greenpeace response

Publication date: 23rd May 2018

Responding to an announcement from Tesco today, which sets out its aspiration for a closed loop packaging system and pledges action on plastic, Elena Polisano, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: 

“As the UK’s largest grocer, Tesco could be a game-changer on plastic packaging. By pledging to quickly eliminate some of the plastics that are difficult to recycle, it has raised the bar for action on problem plastics. And by acknowledging that we can’t blindly replace plastics with bioplastics, some of which can also persist in the environment and harm wildlife, Tesco is committing to avoid false solutions.

“But Tesco hasn’t set a much-needed yearly target for decreasing it’s volume of plastic packaging, which all supermarkets must do to curb plastic pollution. Iceland is leading the way on reduction with a commitment to eliminate single-use plastic packaging on own brand products by 2023 and Lidl is working towards a 20% reduction by 2022. We hope other retailers including Tesco will follow suit with public reduction targets. We are challenging all supermarkets to reduce their single-use plastic footprints in the shortest time possible, and in the meantime they should pull out all the stops to remove unnecessary and non-recyclable plastic packaging by 2019. Now we know what it’s doing to our oceans, it simply has to go.”


Notes for editors: 

The Tesco announcement made on 23rd May 2018 is online here: https://www.tescoplc.com/news/news-releases/2018/tesco-igd-packaging/

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace UK are conducting a survey of major UK grocery retailers, their use of single-use plastic packaging and their targets to reduce it. The results, due in the autumn, are expected to reveal the volume of single-use plastic packaging each retailer puts onto the market every year, their targets to reduce plastic packaging, and their approach to tackling plastic pollution across their supply chains. Press release is online here: https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/press-releases/supermarkets-challenged-act-faster-plastic-new-survey-launches-rank-efforts/

Media contact: 

Alexandra Sedgwick, Press Officer, Greenpeace UK, 07773 043 386, alexandra.sedgwick@greenpeace.org