World’s 3rd-Largest Grocery Chain Eliminates 20 Million Single-Use Plastic Wrappings From Christmas Goodies

Tesco, the world’s third-largest grocery store chain, has announced that as millions of Yule-tide products appear across its shelves, they do so lacking 20 million individual pieces of what would have been single-use plastic.

The always-proud-to-help-the-environment grocer, who embraced the five pence tax on bags, and places carbon footprint labeling on its products, switched to recycled cardboard for packaging of Christmas lights, crackers, pudding, cards, and more.

This is partly down to new regulations entering force in 2022 that taxes plastic packaging which doesn’t include at least 30% recycled material.

“It is an absolute priority of ours to remove and reduce the amount of plastic in our stores to the minimum and ensure everything we use is recycled and kept out of the environment–Christmas time is no exception and we want to do our bit to help customers have more sustainable celebrations,” said Sarah Bradbury, Tesco’s Quality Director said in a statement.

With a bit of alliteration, it’s easy to see how they arrived at this milestone of 20 million pieces, as the quality department’s “4R” motto is “Remove it where we can. Reduce where we can’t. Reuse more. Recycle what’s left.”

Simple decisions, such as removing the plastic layer around a box of Christmassy puddings, spared 1.78 million pieces of plastic, while removing the plastic packaging components of their own-brand crackers alone left their operations 14 million plastic pieces lighter.

In Tesco’s 2020 holiday report, the British grocer noted that they went into the holiday season with a different attitude, and that surveys they conducted helped guide their decisions.

“Over two thirds of Brits expect world events to impact their celebrations, turning the nation towards the festive fundamentals of family, friends and tradition,” says the opener of the report which found that 50% of the 2,011 people questioned said they had started reusing Christmas decorations.