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01 April 2009

Tesco today announces the start of a customer packaging audit with a two store trial offering customers the opportunity to remove and leave excess plastic and paper packaging in store after buying their shopping.

Starting today [Wednesday 1 April] for six weeks at the Tesco Extra stores in Guildford in Surrey and Ilminster in Somerset, the in-store pilot is part of a wider research project, which could influence packaging strategy going forward.

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Tesco Executive Director for Corporate and Legal Affairs said:

‘Tesco is committed to tackling environmental and climate change and we are always working hard to play a positive role and make it easier for our customers to do the same.

‘We know that our customers want us to continue to reduce packaging. At the same time we need to make sure that we are preventing unnecessary food waste. We are looking to find the least amount  of packaging necessary and this trial will help us to establish customers’ views.’

The pilot is the next phase in Tesco’s campaign to reduce packaging. Having identified many products that could be less packaged and achieved significant reductions, Tesco wants customers’ help in finding which other products they believe could be improved.

Tesco has more than 3,500 recycling, reduction and re-use projects currently underway and to date results from its programme include:
• Diverted 87 per cent of waste from its national store and distribution network away from landfill – using new technologies and recycling.
• Reduced the weight of its glass bottles
• Collected and recycled plastic shopping bags to be re-sold as black, plastic refuse sacks
• Invested in 64 state-of-the-art large recycling units in store car parks to support local authority recycling needs and this week launched a smaller trial ‘TOMRA’ unit designed for high streets.

Alasdair James, head of energy, waste and recycling at Tesco said:

‘We know our customers expect us to help them recycle easily and we have also committed ourselves to cutting our own waste. This unique pilot helps us do both.  Packaging left by customers at the store will tell us a lot about areas we may need to look at again as well as where we have got it right.’


Carbon Zone Ltd
The Michael Lynch Centre for Enterprise,
71 Princes Street, Ardrossan,
North Ayrshire, KA22 8DG
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