Tesco defends plastic packaging despite eco-campaign

Tesco has reaffirmed its use of plastic packaging despite its Better Baskets campaign which hopes to combine sustainability and healthy eating into a shared initiative.

Speaking at Retail Week Live, Tesco chief communications officer Alessandra Bellini was asked about the Big 4 grocer’s prospects on eliminating plastic packaging on fruit and vegetables.

Bellini explained that plastic packaging “actually helps reduce food waste” and preserves shelf life for certain products.

Additionally, she cited “worse alternatives” such as paper packaging which has a “larger carbon footprint”.

A final justification Bellini outlined was convenience, claiming the grocer’s priority was to cater to efficiency amid the cost of living crisis.

READ MORE: Tesco Better Baskets campaign highlights ‘healthy zones’ instore

The defense of plastic packaging came after Bellini’s presentation on the Better Basket campaign which hopes to provide shoppers with accessible, affordable and healthier options in store.

By combining sustainability goals and boosting healthy eating, the initiative has signposted eco-products, snacks under 100 calories and plant-based options within Tesco stores.

Under the campaign backed by Jamie Oliver and WWF, products with reusable packaging have also been promoted – contradicting the grocer’s decision to maintain single-use packaging for fresh produce.

However, the grocer has previously removed nearly 1.5 billion pieces of plastic from its packaging and have partnered with Loop to allowing consumers to hire a reusable containers in-store.

While plastic remains a contentious issue, Tesco has kept the cost of living crisis in mind by ensuring Better Baskets comes as discounted prices such as Aldi Price Match, low everyday prices as well as Clubcard prices.

Bellini added: “We understand customers want to make better choices but not pay more for it. Our Better Baskets campaign means there is no compromise. Right now, every little helps.”

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