Closing the Loop on Plastics

Plastics & Packaging

Fruit and veg bag

Our commitment

Packaging plays a vital role in protecting and preserving products, reducing food waste, and reducing emissions through efficient transport. However, we know that it is having an impact on the environment - from excess or heavy packaging, to littering, to plastic pollution entering our oceans. We are committed to tackling these issues and working towards a more circular economy.

Our goals

pop

Our approach

In 2018, we set ambitious targets for packaging and have made significant progress against them. We work collaboratively with our suppliers and industry to critically assess each and every pack we put on our shelves against the following principles:

Removal and Reduction

  • Wherever possible, we remove plastic and packaging altogether. Where packaging is needed, we ensure it isn't unnecessary or excessive.
  • Where appropriate, and where unintended environmental consequences are avoided, we will switch plastic with alternative materials.
  • To date, we’ve:
    • Removed the most problematic plastic packaging types, such as black plastic, PVC and EPS, from our own-label core food ranges.
    • By dispensing with overlids from dairy pots, for example, we’ve taken 38 million pieces of plastic off our shelves to date.
    • We’ve also removed plastic from fruit and vegetables - including 10 million stickers on bananas and 20 million tags from spring onions.

Reuse and Refill

  • We're constantly exploring reusable and refillable options to reduce single-use packaging in-store.

Recycled Content and Recyclability

  • Circularity is vital to us. We design our packaging with end-of-life in mind, ensuring it is easier to recycle.
  • We're also working to increase the amount of recycled content in our packaging, ultimately lowering the amount of virgin materials we use.
  • To date, we’ve replaced the majority of plastic wrapping with card on multi-sales of tins. We've also swapped out flow wrap on 600 tonnes of mushroom trays for a recyclable material and are rolling out new, clear and consistent pack labelling that makes recycling easier for our customers.

Our projects

Our progress

Packaging Goals 2020

 2020 Status (where applicable)

2021 Status (where applicable)

2022 Status

By 2025, reduce own label plastic packaging by 40% relatively against a 2017 baseline

18%

20.1%

29.4%

 By 2025, reduce own label packaging by 25% relatively against a 2019 baseline

-3.4%

-2%

13.1%

By 2025, 100% of own label & branded packaging to be recyclable, reusable, refillable or renewable (by tonnage)

96%

93%

94.6%

*Relative reduction based on tonnage of plastic per £1m revenue. Further information on our progress and plastic footprints can be viewed in our CSR reports here.

70t of plastic removed

70t of plastic removed from milk bottles, with bottles containing up to 30% recycled content

Removing plastic trays

Removing plastic trays across our fruit and veg range, including tomatoes, tenderstem broccoli, asparagus and baby corn

Tags removed

Removed tags from fruit & veg, including our spring onions and bunched beetroot

Pizza bases replaced with cardboard

18t of expanded polystyrene pizza bases replaced with cardboard

100% recycled content

Up to 100% recycled content in trigger spray cleaning bottles and egg boxes

Prevented Ocean Plastics

First adopter of Prevented Ocean Plastics, avoiding 10 million water bottles from entering the marine environment to date

Driving circularity

Driving circularity by incorporating recycled content, with up to 50% recycled content across our drinks range

Removing overlids

We are removing overlids from pots in Dairy, working to remove up to 38 million pieces of plastic from the category

Problem plastic

Removed 2,000 tonnes of problem plastics from our shelves, including black plastic, PVC and EPS

Plastic Straws

Removed 67m single use plastic straws from our beverage cartons

Plastic cotton bud stems

Removed 570m plastic stems from our cotton buds

Plastic forks

Removed 8m single use plastic forks from our salads ranges

Our policies, reports and documents

Our policy on microplastics can be found here.

Our partners