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Tesco’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, revealed that the company will ‘reserve the right not to list’ items packaged in too much non-recyclable wrapping in a column for The Guardian.
In the piece, Lewis admitted that packaging on consumer goods has been excessive, for ‘far too long’.
“We have all looked at the settled contents of a cereal packet and puzzled over the comparative size of the bag and box,” he added. “Or opened a bag of crisps and wondered why the packaging is twice the size of the contents.”
As a result, from next year, the store will assess packaging as part of its ‘ranging decisions’ – and not list the product if the packaging is ‘excessive or inappropriate’.
Lewis also revealed that the retailer has called on the government to introduce a national recycling infrastructure, offering ‘space in our car parks for recycling and testing the collection of materials not currently recycled by local councils’.
He added that more needs to be done to close the loop on packaging so it can used, re-used, collected and recycled continuously. “We need a standardised national collection and a truly complete and national recycling infrastructure,” he wrote.
“Today, recycling rates vary across local authorities from 65 percent to 14 percent. Without a national infrastructure, industry efforts to improve the recyclability of materials used in packaging will not have the impact we need.”