In the age of protests for climate and government commitments to lower carbon emissions, big companies have been urged to make their pledges to deal with the environmental crisis. One of them, the British supermarket chain Tesco, has promised to step up its efforts in the battle against single-use plastic with measures that include banning brands using excessive packaging.
British newspaper the Guardian quoted Tesco’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, as saying the company would “reserve the right not to list” products with too much non-recyclable packaging from next year onwards, in an article published on theguardian.com.
A government initiative had previously encouraged big players from the world of food retail to pledge to cut food waste in half by 2030, which Tesco, along with many others committed to, back in May.
But as the problem of non-recyclable, single-use plastic becomes more prominent around the world, officials can no longer look away from excessive packaging on consumer goods, Lewis admitted.
“We have all looked at the settled contents of a cereal packet and puzzled over the comparative size of the bag and box. Or opened a bag of crisps and wondered why the packaging is twice the size of the contents,” he said.
Tesco have already given suppliers a list of preferred materials in May 2018 but is now planning to turn up the pressure as public awareness of the environmental harm caused by plastic packaging grows.
The move might have been spurred by the growing public backlash against plastic packaging and the discussion of the implementation of a single-use plastic bag levy and policies such as a mandatory deposit return schemes for bottles, but the supermarket has now started trialling measures to reduce waste in its stores.