TESCO will stop using plastic trays to pack fresh whole chickens from next year.

The supermarket is committed to removing one billion pieces of plastic from its UK business by the end of 2020 and has so far removed 800 million pieces.

See also: Chick placings down again in October

Its new poultry packaging would be more hygienic for customers, as they can transfer birds from the new bags to roasting trays without handling them, Tesco said.

It trialled the new packaging at its store in Bar Hill where it tests ideas to help tackle the impact of plastics. 

And in addition to removing plastic, the product will weight 30% less, further improving its environmental footprint.

Tesco has a “4Rs” strategy – Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Excess packaging

It aims to remove non-recyclable and excess packaging from its business. Where it can’t be removed, for example, where it prevents food waste, the retailer will work with its suppliers to reduce it to an absolute minimum.

Sarah Bradbury, quality director at Tesco, said: “We’re focused on removing any plastic which is unnecessary, reducing anything that is excessive, introducing reusable options, and making sure everything that’s left is recyclable.

“Our new chicken pack is a great example of how we are redesigning our packaging to use less plastic, and at the same time, we have made it easier and safer for customers to use.”