Tesco Ireland removes 1.5m pieces of plastic as it scraps plastic-wrapped tinned multipacks in stores

Members News - Environment - Jan 27, 2020


Tesco will replace plastic-wrapped multipacks with plastic-free multibuys on tinned food eliminating 10 tonnes of plastic from the environment each year

 Customers still get the same ‘multipack’ value, just without plastic.

23rd January 2020 Tesco Ireland has today announced that it will become the first retailer in Ireland to remove plastic-wrapped multipacks, sold across its 151 stores and online, replacing them with plastic-free multibuys.

This will see 1.5 million multipacks of Tesco own-label and branded tinned beans, tuna, soup, and tomatoes sold without plastic wrap each year. The move eliminates this plastic film which cannot currently be accepted in Irish household recycling collections.

From early March 2020, tins will be available individually with plastic wrap no longer used to hold them together. They’ll still be eligible for multibuy deals, representing the same great value for customers, just without the plastic.

Multipacks are some of the most popular family favourite products sold daily in Tesco stores nationwide and this change will be implemented across the tinned food category with key supplier partners including Heinz Beanz.

Tesco Ireland, CEO, Kari Daniels, “We are working hard to remove all unnecessary and non-recyclable plastic from Tesco. As part of this work, removing plastic wrapped multipacks in every Tesco store in Ireland will bring about real change for our customers, culminating in almost 10 tonnes of plastic no longer being produced each year. Customers will continue to benefit from the same great value ‘multipack’ price on tinned foods, but with no plastic wrapping”.  

“We want to ensure that we never use more packaging than is needed, and what we do use is from sustainable sources and goes on to be reused or recycled.  Our customers want to see us reduce the level of packaging and plastic in our stores and help them reduce the amount of plastic they use too. This initiative is just one way we are working towards making that goal a reality, across our business in Ireland and in the UK.”

Georgiana de Noronha, President of Kraft Heinz Northern Europe, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Tesco on this. While we know we have more to do, this initiative is good news for the environment, and for the millions of people who enjoy Heinz varieties every day, as they’ll still be able to benefit from the same great value for money our multipacks provide.”

Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF*, said: “WWF supports Tesco’s steps in the fight against plastic pollution. We need to remove unnecessary single-use plastic wherever possible, to stop the contamination of the natural world. If we want to protect nature we need more businesses to follow Tesco’s lead, before we run out of time to fight for our world.”

Tesco’s 4Rs packaging strategy – Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – means it aims to remove non-recyclable and excess packaging from its business by 2025. Where packaging can’t be removed, for example where it prevents food waste, Tesco will work with its suppliers to reduce it to an absolute minimum. The retailer will also explore new opportunities to reuse packaging and ensure anything left is recycled as part of a closed loop system.

This move by Tesco and its suppliers supports the Government’s Climate Action Plan which aims to eliminate the use of non-recyclable plastic.


Notes to editors


In 2018 Tesco PLC announced a ground-breaking long-term partnership with the WWF with the aim of improving the sustainability of food whilst ensuring it remains affordable for everyone.

This change applies to all plastic-wrapped tinned multipacks sold at Tesco.

Products include:

  • Tesco and Heinz baked beans and spaghetti products
  • Tesco tinned tomatoes
  • Tesco and Green Giant sweetcorn
  • Tesco and John West tuna

The changes will take effect and be visible in stores from March 2nd, with no further plastic-wrapped tinned food multipacks ordered by Tesco from that date. Remaining stock will be allowed to sell-through. In Ireland, this change will be implemented on tinned tuna by early May.

Customers will still be able to benefit from ‘multipack’ deals when they multibuy i.e. when they purchase the same number of tins that were previously wrapped together.

Tesco has set challenging targets that will deliver a step change in the reduction of our packaging waste including:

  • ending the use of hard to recycle materials (for example PVC and Polystyrene) from own brand packaging
  • ensuring packaging will be fully recyclable and all our paper and board will be 100% sustainable
  • halving packaging weight on own label products by 2025

In late 2019, Tesco Ireland announced the roll out of fully recyclable detectable black plastic trays on a core range of over 100 products resulting in 448 tonnes of packaging being made recyclable for the first time. Changes made in the packaging manufacturing process to include a detectable pigment will now mean that once placed clean, dry and loose into the household recycling bin, these products are more readily recyclable at waste plants.



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