Packaging

Packaging: it’s part and parcel of what we do. Without great packaging, many of our products wouldn't make it to our stores, or your homes, in one piece. Some of our food wouldn't be safe, others wouldn't taste so good, and some things need to be packaged for extra protection as they are so delicate.

We’re focused on reducing and improving it. After all, it isn't just about less packaging; it's about packaging that keeps products at their best for longer, both in our stores and your homes. 

Here are some of our packaging achievements and ambitions:

 

 

Plastics unwrapped

Find out about Asda’s pledge to customers in the fight to reduce plastics.

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Have You Herd?

We’ve teamed up with Arla to launch an app to let our customers know how to recycle their milk bottles.

The 'Have You Herd?' app uses augmented reality – simply use the app to scan any of our own brand milk bottles and a milk bottle character comes to life, which then links to a short educational video. It also features an option to scan the barcode, and a totaliser so customers can see how many bottles they’ve recycled and how many customers have recycled collectively to date.

When we reach targets and milestones, customers can share facts and infographics on social media to let the world know that they’re doing their bit!

You can download ‘Have You Herd?’ on the App Store or Google Play.

Clear is the new black

We have a target for all our own brand packaging to be 100% recyclable by 2025. A huge step towards this is removing black and coloured plastics from our products.

Black plastic is not recyclable as it is not detected during sorting and coloured plastics are more difficult to turn back into food packaging.

All Asda product trays will switch to clear trays. So far, this has included Asda mushrooms, sushi and chilled desserts. Our sparkling water bottles have changed from green to clear, herb pots have switched from black to green, and Asda fish in blue trays will move to clear trays.

 

Meat packaging

In 2013, we changed the packs of all our ‘Chosen By You’ and ‘Butcher’s Selection’ meat to brand new ‘skin’ packaging. This not only reduces the amount of packaging needed, it also doubles the meat’s shelf life, so we get longer to sell it, and our customers get longer to enjoy it.

So long, single use bags

We’ve removed single use plastic bags from all of our stores – that’s 290,000,000 plastic bags that are used every year.

To replace them, we’ve introduced a new range of reusable carrier bags, which are bigger, stronger, easier to carry, anti-bacterial and last longer.

The next bags we’re looking at are the small plastic bags for self-service fruit and vegetables. Trials will start in 2019 and we’ll be asking customers what they think and what reusable alternatives they’d like.

Using less

We have a target to reduce plastic packaging by 6,500 tonnes by 2019. We’ve introduced a huge range of ways to reduce and remove plastic from our packaging. Just a few of the improvements we’ve made are:

  • Reduced the thickness of plastic film in Extra Special sliced bread, pasties, pain au chocolate
  • Reduced bag thickness for frozen peas, chips and wedges
  • Removed plastic tray in avocados, tender stem broccoli, pink lady apples and Extra Special frozen ready meals
  • Lightweighted bottles of Asda cola, squash, juice, water and milk
  • Removed cellophane wrap on greeting cards, changed lightbulb packaging from plastic blister packs to board packs and replaced full plastic wraps on bath mats with a cardboard band.

Perfectly portioned

As well as protecting our products packaging has an important role to play in making sure customers use the right amount as we all want to help avoid food waste.

We've made some great changes to our packaging to help customers to make sure they are getting the perfect portion. Here are just a few examples.

  • All of our Asda bagged rice has portion control indicators on the side of the pack.
  • We include scoops in some of our packs like batter mix and Scottish oats to help customers use the right amount.
  • Tomato ketchup is everyone’s favourite - to make sure little hands can control the amount of ketchup they need we added valves in to our Asda ketchup. This valve also reduces mess and stops the product spoiling! 

Carrier bag recycling

All Asda stores have carrier bag recycling bins for customers. These have been in stores since 2008. Plastic from these bins is combined with the plastic from the back of our stores and comes back as our bags for life. Customers can also use these bins to recycle clean plastic film packaging from their homes. 

Easy cheesy

Our customers told us that they love the re-sealable packaging on our cheddar but sometimes it is hard to get it to work properly. So, in April 2014, we launched a new type of re-sealable packaging which removes the need to line up the seal so precisely. The new technology makes it easier to close the packet and keeps the cheese fresher for longer.