Sainsbury’s has announced it is swapping traditional, plastic tray packaging for a new vacuum-packed alternative across its beef mince range - saving 450 tonnes of plastic a year. The new packaging is a supermarket first and will result in a minimum 55% reduction in plastic per product, says the retail giant.
The change will take place across all Sainsbury’s beef mince products, currently retailing from as little as £1.99 for 500g. Customers will be able to purchase beef mince in the revamped packaging both in-store and online from today (Wednesday, February 22).
The beef mince products will be vacuum-packed for freshness by removing all oxygen, which typically causes a product to eventually spoil. The new packaging will contain the same amount of beef mince but is smaller in size, also helping customers to use their freezer and fridge space more efficiently.
Claire Hughes, director of product and innovation at Sainsbury’s, said: “We know our customers expect us to be reducing the use of plastic across our products and we’re constantly looking for new ways to innovate to meet our Plan for Better plastic reduction targets. We strive to be bold in the changes we are making, which is why we’re pleased to be the first UK retailer to vacuum pack all our beef mince range without impacting the quantity or great quality of product that our customers expect.
“This is the latest in a long line of changes we have pioneered in the space working collaboratively with our suppliers, and customers can expect much more to come from Sainsbury’s.”
The move is the latest in a string of changes made by Sainsbury’s in a bid to halve its use of own-brand plastic packaging by 2025. Sainsbury’s was the first UK supermarket to remove plastic bags for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items from all stores, as well as the first to remove all black plastic from chilled ready meals in 2019.
More recently, Sainsbury’s announced the removal of single-use plastic lids across its own-brand yoghurt, crème fraiche, sour cream, cream, cottage cheese, custard and dip pots, saving 71 million pieces of plastic per year. Back in September, Sainsbury’s also made its own-brand coffee pod range fully recyclable.