Tesco has told beer and cider brand owners to use non-plastic packaging if they want to secure a listing with the UK multiple retailer.

The company, the UK’s biggest supermarket chain, announced today the introduction of a ban on plastic rings and shrink wrap from its beer and cider shelves. Brands must instead use cardboard sleeves, boxes or rigid plastic that can be easily recycled.

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Tesco will stop receiving beers and ciders held together by soft plastic rings and shrink wraps this month.

The retailer said the move, the first for a UK grocer, will lead to 50m fewer pieces of unrecycled plastic being produced each year. It also said the initiative has the backing of major brewers, which in recent years have replaced plastic packaging and rings with cardboard alternatives.

Heineken unveiled the Green Grip in August last year, a cardboard topper that replaced plastic rings on multipacks in the UK. In September 2018, Carlsberg announced it would use glue to group its cans. Diageo has also replaced plastic rings on packs of Guinness brewed in Ireland.

James Crampton, corporate affairs director for Heineken UK, said: “Never has sustainability been so high on the agenda and we are incredibly proud to work with Tesco, who like us, see the important role we both play in helping to protect the future of our planet.”

Alcohol’s sustainability and responsibility activations around the world – The IARD Digest – April 2021