Tesco is using recycled PET plastic packaging for its ready meal trays

‘Tray 2 Tray’: Tesco ready meals now coming in recycled PET plastic packaging

The UK’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, is starting to sell its ready meals in recycled PET plastic packaging thanks to a new partnership with manufacturer, Faerch.

Recycled used plastic food trays are being turned back into new packaging for a range of Tesco’s chilled ready meals – with more products set to follow in the months ahead.

The change in packaging material – which initially covers Tesco’s core own-brand chilled ready meals such as its 400g Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni, Tomato & Mozzarella Penne, and Beef Lasagne – comes after a ramped-up collaboration with Faerch, which turns recycled PET plastic packaging into food grade plastic trays.

Tesco said its ready meal trays already contain up to 75% recycled content, which predominantly comes from bottle flake plastic. But through the new initiative – dubbed ‘Tray 2 Tray’ – a minimum of 30% recycled tray content will be included in the new core chilled ready meals trays.

The aim is to make new trays out of as much recycled PET plastic packaging from old trays, therefore showing circular practices. And Tesco promised the partnership with Faerch will ensure “high quality food-grade PET is kept within the supply chain, rather than being downcycled”, while also demonstrating that PET packaging from trays can be fully recovered and recycled at “an industrial scale”.

Adele Kearns, packaging development manager at Tesco, said: “We are determined to close the loop on our packaging – for it to be fully recyclable and contain recycled content wherever possible.

“We remain committed to reducing our environmental impact, and helping our customers to do the same, as we work together to protect our planet.”

Ruth Price, strategic sales manager at Faerch UK, added: “Our collaboration with Tesco is the perfect example of how material from EU waste resources can be diverted into a valuable commodity.

“Moving forward, our intention is to not only increase the level of tray-to-tray content but to also start taking this from local UK feedstocks.”

Faerch’s PET tray recycling plant, Cirrec, takes used post-consumer food trays – which are collected at the curbside in Europe – and recycles them back into new food trays, which it says are the same quality as their original version.

Read more about Tesco on Green Retail World

[Image credit: Tesco]

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