Asda has unveiled plans to remove single-use plastic bags for fruit and vegetables from stores, in favour of reusable alternatives made from recycled material.
The reusable alternative produce bags, made using recycled plastic bottles, will be offered to shoppers for 30p at nine Asda stores from Sept. 7. At the same stores, single use bags will be removed from aisles.
Stores included in the trial are Middleton, Killingbeck, Swansea, Bridgend, Glasshoughton, Quedgeley, Harrogate, York Layerthorpe and the York Superstore.
Should the trial prove successful, Asda will explore the possibility of offering the reusable bags in – and removing the single-use plastic bags from - more stores. It estimates that a roll-out could prevent the use of more than 3.5 million bags per year, collectively weighing in at more than 141 tonnes.
Asda’s director of produce Kevin Patel called the trial “a really exciting step” on Asda’s journey to reduce the amount of plastic it uses across its own-brand offerings by 15% by 2021, against a 2017 baseline.
The supermarket’s wider plastics strategy is rooted in WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact, which sets four main minimum requirements on signatories against a 2025 deadline. It binds signatories to eliminating unnecessary single-use packaging through redesign; making all plastic packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable; achieving recycling and composting rates of 70% or more for packaging, and including 30% recycled content across all packaging.
In August of this year, Asda introduced blueberries in fully recyclable punnets as a part of its efforts to curb plastic pollution.