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UK retailer Asda is creating a ‘sustainability’ store in a bid to slash unnecessary plastic packaging.

The outlet, which will open this May, in Middleton, Leeds, will allow shoppers to bring their own containers and fill them up with products including tea, pasta, and cereal among others from refill stations.

In addition, the store will offer a number of products without plastic wrap – including cucumbers and flowers. It will also feature recycling facilities including a ‘reverse vending machine’ for cans and plastic bottles.

‘New approaches to sustainability’

Roger Burnley, Asda’s chief executive, said: “We’re on an ongoing quest to remove and reduce the amount of plastic in our business and to find new ways to help our customers to reuse and refill our products.

“This is a journey we can’t go alone, which is why we invited our suppliers to innovate with us. I’m delighted that household names like Kellogg’s and Unilever have joined us in testing new ideas and approaches to sustainability.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we will be testing and learning from the customers in Middleton to understand how we can reduce our environmental impacts whilst still maintaining the great service and quality our customers demand.”

‘Encouraging’

The move has been praised by some campaigners, with Daniel Webb, of campaign group Everyday Plastic, saying: “Offering less packaging through refill initiatives at major supermarkets presents a massive step towards reducing the amount of plastic being thrown away.”

Louise Edge, head of Greenpeace UK’s ocean plastics campaign, described the move as ‘encouraging’, but said the scheme should be more widespread.

“We’ll never recycle our way out of this crisis, so Asda and other UK supermarkets must urgently reduce plastic by switching to reusable and refillable packaging at scale.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.