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Asda customers encouraged to bring in refillable containers to cut plastic use

Almost a third of Asda’s own-brand plastic packaging will come from recycled materials by the end of next year, the company said Photo: Chris Radburn/PA

Asda customers will be encouraged to bring in their own refillable containers when shopping from next year in a bid to cut down on plastic.

The Walmart-owned company said it is to begin trialling new reusable and refillable packaging for “at least” three months in 2020.

An Asda spokesman said it could involve shoppers being able to bring in containers which can be refilled from dispensers within the store.

By the end of 2020, almost a third of Asda’s own brand plastic packaging will also come from recycled materials, the supermarket said.

Asda said nearly a third of its own brand plastic packaging will come from recycled materials by the end of 2021 Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

The measure will avoid the use of approximately 19,500 tonnes of non-recycled plastic.

Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said: “The elimination of avoidable plastic, and crucially single-use plastic, is at the top of our minds – and at the top of our customers’ minds.

“Our focus is on removing unnecessary plastic, and where packaging is beneficial to the life of a product we will trial new solutions that are as recycled and as recyclable as possible.”

Asda said it is also aiming to reduce the total amount of plastic used in its own brand packaging by 15% by February 2021.

The supermarket said it had removed more than 6,500 tonnes of plastic packaging from its own brand range since February 2018.

It wants to make all of its own brand packaging recyclable by 2025.

Trials around refillable packaging will last for “at least” three months, allowing suppliers to review the process, the supermarket said.

Asda said it has written to all of its suppliers to come forward with new ideas, adding that will provide space within a store to test “packaging innovation”.

The supermarket said it has already removed single-use 5p carrier bags and 110 million plastic straws from circulation in its cafes and party range.