Asda eliminates single-use plastic bags with a new recycling strategy

UK – Asda, the British retailer has announced its plan towards making 100% of its own-brand plastic packaging recyclable by phasing out ‘5p’ plastic bags from their products by 2025.

According to the company, the strategy also involves introduction of reusable coffee cups, a replacement of the daily takeaway coffee cups which form part of tonnes of waste in bins or landfill.

Asda was also to venture into developing alternatives for plastic straws such as paper straws to address the rising concern of the plastic menace disposed in the rivers or landfill.

They’ll also eliminate single use coffee cups and plastic cutlery completely from their home offices and phase out single use carrier bags from their stores by the end of the year.

Over the next 12 months, the retail plans to achieve a 10% reduction in the amount of plastics they were going to use in their own brand products.

In search for alternatives, the retail should be ready to face the challenges in using paper straws or explore other forms such as bamboo, metal or glass to eliminate the availability of plastic straws in their retail chain.

Other efforts they are putting in place to obtain recyclable use of plastic include switching from coloured to clear plastic drink bottles and replacing polystyrene pizza boards with cardboard.

In a vision to achieve 100% recyclable packaging by 2025, they have made a mile in the same by eliminating a significant amount of plastic in their water bottles and removing harmful microbeads from all their brand cosmetics.

“In the last month, I’ve asked my colleagues to work out where we could remove more plastic from our products, without impacting the quality of what is inside.

It’s a balance between avoiding plastic where we can but recognising that, currently, there are instances where some plastic is necessary to make sure our products reach our customers in the best condition, to avoid waste and have a smaller environmental footprint than the alternatives,” said Roger Burnley, President and CEO.

Asda also revealed that they would implement this with the help of Asda’s Plastic Unwrapped scheme which pledges to use less and recycle more plastic.

While recognizing that plastic was the best option for some products, the retail suggested that it will be working in partnership and collaboration with other key players to tackle their reliance on plastic.

Roger Burnley, Asda’s President and CEO said that they were committed to partner and cooperate with others including Leeds Beckett University Retail Institute and one of their suppliers, ABP to work on an innovation strategy that will see elimination of plastics and emergence of alternatives that were recyclable.

In line with this, the retail was setting up the Plastic Unwrapped Ideas Hub that will address the plastic challenges and tackle ideas from industry and individuals.

“But as well as taking action in the here and now, I want our customers to trust that when we say we’re going to do something, we do it in the right way and have a real impact over the long term.

That’s why we’ve set out our approach to plastics reduction and recycling, in detail, so that our customers can see exactly what we’re doing and how we’ll do it,” said Roger Burnley, President and CEO.

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