Tesco to use coastal plastic in fish packaging

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Tesco's fresh fish packaing will now contain at least 30% recycled coastal plastic
Tesco's fresh fish packaing will now contain at least 30% recycled coastal plastic

Related tags Packaging & labelling Plastic Meat & Seafood

Tesco is to use discarded plastic collected from coastal areas in its fresh fish packaging.

The supermarket’s fresh Salmon, Haddock, Cod and Sea Bass lines will now be sold in trays that contain at least 30% recycled coastal plastic collected from beaches, coastlines and coastal communities around the Mediterranean Sea.

Tesco claimed the move would remove about 500 tonnes of plastic from the environment each year and reduce the amount of virgin plastic required in packaging.

Sarah Bradbury, Tesco quality director, said: “Where we can, we are reducing the amount of new plastic we use in our business. Re-using coastal plastic in our fish packaging is one way we can do that and at the same time keep it out of the oceans.”

Traceability and transparency

Non-profit organisation Keep Sea Blue is overseeing the collection and processing of the waste plastic to ensure full traceability and transparency.

Waste consisting of polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene – and other types of plastic – is collected from at-risk coastal areas such as beaches and coastal communities within 10 km from the sea to prevent it from entering the Mediterranean Sea by wind, rain or floods. 

The plastic is recovered initially by a network of collectors across the Mediterranean, including volunteer groups involved in beach clean-ups, local authorities, non-profits and the private sector.

PET sorted

The PET share of the waste is then carefully sorted, grinded, washed and recycled and goes back into food-grade packaging materials. Keep Sea Blue’s novel blockchain platform helps the group monitor and certify the circularity of plastics, ensuring full material traceability. 

Lefteris Bastakis, Keep Sea Blue founder, added: “Mismanaged plastic waste can only be solved by many partners working together. We are glad that Tesco is making a meaningful and active contribution to this programme towards protecting the Mediterranean Sea from plastic pollution and building a more sustainable future.”

Meanwhile, more than 90% of managers, directors and business owners at food producers and manufacturers have revealed in a new survey that sustainability is no longer a priority with the current economic crisis.

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