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Tesco’s plastic packaging reduction programme is on a roll

A new way of winding toilet paper more tightly onto cardboard tubes is helping Tesco reduce the size of its large multipacks – without changing the number of sheets.

The new rolls mean that less plastic is needed to pack them, customers won’t get caught short, as they can fit more in their cupboards, double wind rolls will last twice as long on the holder, and Tesco needs fewer lorries to transport them, freeing up space for Christmas treats instead!

In total Tesco will save 67 tonnes of plastic packaging each year as a result of either fitting more paper onto each roll or winding rolls more tightly, so they take up less space. The reduction in size will mean 17 fewer lorries are needed each week to transport the rolls from the supplier to Tesco’s distribution centres. Those lorries will be redeployed to deliver other products to stores as they get busier in the run up to Christmas.

One of the supermarket’s bulkiest products, the 24 roll own brand pack of toilet rolls, has shrunk significantly in size as it was replaced with the new 12 pack of ‘double rolls’ that have twice the number of sheets wound on to them. Changing this one product alone will save 46 tonnes of plastic and allow five lorries each week to be used for other loads.

Changes will continue throughout the range in the coming months. In December, shoppers will see another change as Tesco shrinks the rolls in its four and nine roll packs by winding the paper more tightly. This second change will save 14 tonnes of plastic a year and allow eight lorries to be redeployed.

Further roll and pack size reductions are planned in 2022.

Katie Frost, buying manager, paper at Tesco, said: ‘As well as removing unnecessary plastic, reducing the size of multipacks will free up valuable space in our lorries that can be put to great use this Christmas.

‘We are looking at a number of ways to use less packaging as a part of our 4Rs packaging strategy. In the last few years, we have cut six thousand tonnes of packaging from products, including a billion pieces of plastic.’

Through its 4Rs strategy to tackle the impact of plastic waste, Tesco has improved packaging for more than 1600 products and saved over 6000 tonnes of material. This includes the removal of more than a billion pieces of plastic. It has also launched a reusable shopping service with Loop in ten stores and soft plastic recycling collection points in all its larger stores.


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