Asda is to ditch plastic trays across its entire fresh chicken range and introduce new recycle-ready packaging, in a move it says will save 450 tonnes of plastic a year.
In reducing plastic packaging by up to 50% across the range, Asda said the switch into new pouches was a “supermarket first”.
The launch – which is part of Asda’s ongoing commitment to ‘use less and recycle more’ – follows a successful trial last year on mini-fillets and diced breasts. The supermarket has so far removed 9,000 tonnes or plastic and is committed to removing three billion pieces of plastic from own-brand products by 2025.
Shoppers will see the new packaging launch on chicken thighs in the coming weeks. By the middle of summer, the full range, including whole birds, drumsticks, legs, diced breasts, and mini fillets will have moved into the more sustainable packaging.
In addition to making a “considerable difference to helping tackle plastic pollution”, Asda said its switch to the pouches also supported hygienic preparation of meals – with customers able to pour the poultry from pack straight into the pan, without needing to pick the chicken up with hands or utensils.
Asda was an early trailblazer of so-called ‘roast-in-bag’ technology. It launched a range of chicken which could be cooked in their packaging back in 2013, amid rising concerns over campylobacter in supermarket chicken, and has since introduced a raft of other meat and poultry products which can also be cooked in their packaging.
“The change in poultry packaging marks the next step in our commitment to use less and recycle more, something which we are very passionate about delivering for our customers and colleagues as we strive to make all our own-brand packaging 100% recyclable by 2025,” said Asda’s poultry buying manager Lisa Barret.
“The move means customers don’t have to prioritise plastic reduction over grocery decision making, ensuring the nation can continue purchasing quality poultry at the same price.”