Customers picking up fresh mince in some Tesco stores will notice a big change in how it’s packaged, because instead of the traditional tray/top wrap pack, the retailer has introduced mince in new ‘pillow packs’.
The supermarket is trialling the new packaging which uses 70% less plastic, on two lines: 500g Tesco Beef Lean Steak Mince 5% fat (£3.49) and Tesco Beef Mince 500g 20% fat (£2.49).
If customers like the new pillow packs, Tesco will roll it out to more stores and across more lines.
Pillow packs are the opposite to vacuum packs. The slightly inflated ‘pillow’ keeps the mince in perfect condition and prevents it being compressed at all.
While the new packs still contain the same amount of mince as the old ones, the packaging is smaller in size, meaning fewer lorries are needed to transport them, and stores can fit more on shelves, increasing availability.
The new packaging is recyclable. Customers can put it into the front of store recycling units with their other soft plastic.
Dom Morrey, Tesco Commercial Director for Fresh, said: “As well as looking for great value when they shop, customers want to see less plastic packaging in their trolleys.
“Pillow packs are a win-win: they keep the mince in perfect condition while requiring much less plastic.
“Removing or reducing unnecessary plastic is an important way that Tesco can reduce its environmental impact. We’re proud of what we have done so far but continue to look for ways to do more.”
Tesco’s 4Rs packaging strategy aims to remove plastic where it can, reduce where it can’t, reuse more and recycle what’s left.
To date, the supermarket group claimed it has removed around 2.2 billion pieces of plastic from its UK business, including:
- 200+ million bags from Tesco.com deliveries
- 100+ million extra lids from products such as wipes, creams, yogurts and desserts
- 50 million pieces of plastic wrapping from cans of branded beers and ciders