Tesco has announced it will remove one billion pieces of plastic packaging from products in stores by the end of 2020. Tesco is the United Kingdom‘s largest retailer. The move by the company reduces its environmental footprint.

The change applies to Tesco branded products. To remove plastic, the company plans to replace small plastic bags used for produce with paper ones. The company will also get rid of secondary lids on yogurt and cream, straws and plastic forks, clothing wrappers, greeting card plastic and plastic trays from ready meals.

Under its “Packaging Frequently Asked Questions,” on its website, the company pledged, “If packaging can’t be recycled, it will have no place in our business.” Tesco also said it was working with governments on updated recycling schemes so each household has the same recycling capabilities.

The company has already changed packaging for 800 products and removed 4,000 tonnes of hard to recycle plastic.

Louise Edge, head of Greenpeace UK’s ocean plastics campaign, said of the company’s initiative to reduce plastic, “Tesco is absolutely doing the right thing in looking to reduce the number of pieces of plastic packaging it produces. When supermarkets focus solely on reducing their packaging by weight, this can trigger a policy of light-weighting – meaning packaging gets thinner or smaller, but still exists as a throwaway item that can pollute our waterways and harm marine wildlife

Plastic is an enormous problem globally. Not easily recycled and incredibly durable, plastic finds its way into oceans and landfills. It then breaks down into microplastics.

Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, DoveBudweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland and many more are banning various single-use plastics and others that are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners and using  mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, avoiding microbeads!

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