May 20, 2021

Tesco claims to be the UK’s first big grocery retailer to scrap soft plastic rings and shrink wrap from beer and cider packs in its stores in partnership with some leading drinks makers.

The UK’s biggest supermarket chain says it will stop receiving beers and ciders that are held together by soft plastic rings and/or shrink wraps as of this month. The move will lead to 50 million fewer pieces of non-recycled plastic being produced annually. Plastic rings not only contribute to ocean pollution, they can also endanger wildlife such as birds and turtles that get ensnared in the material.

Tesco quality director Sarah Bradbury said: “We are working hand in hand with some of the world’s biggest brands to tackle the problem of unnecessary plastic. Our mission is to use as little material as possible and ensure that all the packaging in our stores can be easily recycled.”

Beer and cider brands selling to Tesco now have to use materials for multi-packs such as cardboard sleeves, boxes, or rigid plastics that can be easily recycled at kerbside collections.

Partnering with Tesco, Heineken has switched to a cardboard alternative called the Green Grip. James Crampton, corporate affairs director at Heineken UK, commented: “Green Grip eliminates plastic rings on cans of beer and cider. It’s a game-changer that impacts hundreds of millions of packs of beers and ciders and removes the equivalent of 94 million plastic bags.”

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