Tesco follows Sainsbury's and makes major change to mince meat packaging

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The new packaging is part of Tesco plan to cut its plastic waste (Image: Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The new packaging is part of Tesco plan to cut its plastic waste (Image: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Tesco has followed other supermarket chains and has changed the packaging for its mince meat products - and customers will have the final say on whether it will stay.

The supermarket chain said it was "trialling" the new packaging which has 70% less plastic than the traditional plastic tray and film. For now, Tesco has brought in the packaging on two mince products - its 500g Tesco Beef Lean Steak Mince 5% fat (£3.49) and Tesco Beef Mince 500g 20% fat (£2.49).

The trials are only in a handful of stores in the country and Tesco says if customers like the new packaging then it will roll it out to more lines across more stores.

It follows similar moves made by Sainsbury's and Coop recently who introduced "vacuum packs" for their mince meat in a bid to reduce its plastic waste.

Tesco has reiterated that its pillow packs are the opposite of vacuum packs as they are slightly inflated which will prevent the meat from being compressed.

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Tesco follows Sainsbury's and makes major change to mince meat packagingThe new packaging uses 70% less plastic than the traditional tray and film (Tesco)

Tesco said the packs contain the same amount of minced meat as the old ones however the packaging is smaller in size meaning few lorries are needed to transport them. It also means Tesco stores are able to fit more on their shelves - increasing its availability in stores.

The new pillow packs are also completely recyclable and customers can get rid of them by putting them into the soft plastics recycling units located at the front of Tesco's stores.

Dom Morrey, tesco commercial director for Fresh, said: “As well as looking for great value when they shop, customers want to see less plastic packaging in their trolleys. Pillow packs are a win-win: they keep the mince in perfect condition while requiring much less plastic.

“Removing or reducing unnecessary plastic is an important way that Tesco can reduce its environmental impact. We're proud of what we have done so far but continue to look for ways to do more."

The following stores taking part in the trial:

  • Borehamwood
  • Cheshunt
  • Epping
  • Hatfield
  • Hertford
  • Hornchurch
  • Ponders End
  • Potters Bar
  • Waltham Abbey

Sainsbury's was the first chain to introduce vacuum packaging for the meat product in March to all of its 1,400 stores in a bid to reduce its plastic waste, however the supermarket chain faced a lot of backlash. Customers said the packaging change made the meat turn to "mush" and one customer on social media described it as being the "nearest thing to baby food".

Nisa and Coop also later introduced vacuum packaging as one of their plastic waste-reducing tactics.

Ruby Flanagan

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