Major Tesco move to cut multipack plastic will offer shoppers more choice

United Kingdom shoppers are to be given more freedom of choice when buying multipack drinks as part of a major move by Tesco to save 45 million pieces of plastic a year.

The good news for customers is that even though the supermarket is scrapping multipacks of its Retail Brand (own label) drinks, individual cans will continue to be sold at the same price per unit as a part of a multi-buy promotion.

And instead of having to buy multiples of the same product, shoppers will be able to mix and match purchases including lemonade, cola, ginger beer, soda and tonic water.

The supermarket has stepped up its campaign against unnecessary plastic by removing the multipack wrap from many of its own brand food and drinks.

Initially 12 million pieces of plastic a year will be saved from use on all own-brand canned fizzy drinks.

The multipacks of 4s used to cost £1 – now the price is 50p a can or four for £1.

In addition, a further 33 million pieces of plastic will be removed in the autumn as plastic multipacks are removed from kids’ lunchbox drinks, energy drinks, water and fruit juices.

Tesco Head of Packaging Development Johnny Neville said: Customers are focused on getting great value right now, but they still want to use less plastic. Not only is this move great news for the environment but it will also offer customers more choice and flexibility when it comes to fizzy drinks – at no extra cost. It could even work out much cheaper for customers who want a variety of drinks. Basically it’s more choice, same value but less plastic!”

This is the latest in a series of actions against multipack plastic –

  • In January 2020, Tesco saved 67 million pieces of plastic a year by removing multipack wraps from all of its tins, including branded and own-brand beans, soup and tuna.
  • In May 2021, Tesco stopped selling beers and ciders in soft plastic multipack wraps, as part of a move which saved 50 million pieces of plastic a year.

Tesco’s 4Rs packaging strategy aims to remove plastic where it can, reduce where it can’t, reuse more and recycle what’s left.

Since the launch of the 4Rs strategy in August 2019, Tesco has removed 1.7 bn pieces and further reduced packaging by more than 3000 tonnes from its annual footprint. Fruit juices, crisps and cheese are all among the products now being produced using less plastic.

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By Published On: July 25th, 2022

About the Author: Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of the Velocity Institute. Prior to this he founded the groundbreaking site My Private Brand. He is the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He began his retail career building brands at Food Lion and Lowe’s Home Improvement. Durham has worked with retailers around the world, including Albertsons, Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro Canada. Durham has published seven definitive books on private brands, including Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project and Vanguard: Vintage Originals.

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