Tesco plans to reduce 350 tonnes of plastic per year by getting rid of its plastic-wrapped multibuy packs of beans, soups, sweetcorn, and tuna. GlobalData expects the move to be lauded by the 60.7% of shoppers that, according to the research firm’ s “How Britain Shops” survey, consider product sustainability to be important when purchasing food and grocery.
“Tesco’s latest move is a step ahead of its rivals and a step in a different direction,” says Thomas Brereton, retail analyst at GlobalData. “While this is one announcement of many in a grocery industry awash with retailers declaring new sustainability policies, this move stands out as having the potential to drive significantly more tangible change—even at the threat of upsetting convenience-focused shoppers.”
By forcing big brands such as Heinz, Branston, Green Giant, and John West to fall in line, Tesco’s new specifications will inevitably pressure other retailers when brands bid to create a more uniform (and cheaper) production line.
“This is not an optional extra for environmentally conscious consumers such as remembering to bring your Bags for Life or a refillable pasta container when you visit your supermarket,” Brereton adds. “With 25.8% of the U.K. doing the majority of its shopping at Tesco each week, the potential upside for the environment is substantial.
“This unapologetic infringement on consumer convenience will largely be beneficial to Tesco. Furthermore, this will be a swiftly and widely executed strategy, unlike ASDA or Waitrose’s refill stations, which currently sit in a small number of stores. The policy will be quickly implemented across the whole of Tesco’s 2,658 store network at the start of March.”