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Suppliers warned over hard-to-recycle products

International supermarket giant Tesco is cracking down on suppliers whose products are hard to recycle or cannot currently be recycled.

The company’s ceo, Dave Lewis, reports that over the past year Tesco has changed the packaging of 800 own-brand products, removing 4000 tonnes of hard-to-recycle packaging.

He says Tesco will ‘reserve the right’ not to order certain products if it judges them to have excessive packaging. The move will come next year in the second phase of its ‘remove, reduce, reuse and recycle’ approach.

‘The order of these words matters,’ Lewis writes for the Guardian media website. ‘In the first quarter of 2018, we audited all packaging materials in our business and we’re taking action to: remove all non-recyclable and unnecessary packaging; where we can’t remove, reduce it to an absolute minimum including excess packaging; explore new opportunities to reuse it and if we can’t, then ensure it is all recycled as part of a closed loop.’

‘We’re setting ourselves and our suppliers a challenge. The need is urgent, and so from next year we will assess the size and suitability of all packaging as part of our ranging decisions, and if it’s excessive or inappropriate, we reserve the right not to list the product,’ Lewis notes.

‘We’ll look at this category-by-category so every product is treated fairly and we’ll give sufficient time to make these changes.’

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