Supermarket giant Tesco has announced it is launching a trial to address the issue of excess and unnecessary toothpaste packaging in the UK by selling tubes without cardboard boxes.
The trial is launching this week, and Tesco said it would assess how customers react when branded toothpaste is no longer sold in cardboard boxes.
The move follows on from the retailer scrapping the use of cardboard boxes on its own brand toothpaste in November last year, a move which according to Tesco could save more than 55 tonnes of cardboard a year.
The new trial will take place in nearly 30 Tesco stores across the UK and will include major toothpaste brands including as Colgate, Oral B, Sensodyne, Aquafresh, and Corsadyl.
If successful, box-less toothpaste would then be rolled out across other Tesco stores, with the company estimating the simple move could result in a potential saving of 680 tonnes of cardboard a year.
"We made a bold move to remove un-needed toothpaste boxes last November on our own brand and have had positive feedback from customers," said Tesco Oral Care Buyer Felicity Bexton. "Now we are working with the major toothpaste brands to join us on this journey.
"Not only is there an opportunity to remove this needless packaging, but it also means being able to transport more tubes in the same amount of space, helping us take delivery lorries off the road too. We think that for customers the move makes sense, because the first thing they do when they buy toothpaste is throw the packaging box away."
Tesco said this move forms part of its 4Rs packaging strategy to tackle the impact of packaging waste by removing, reducing, reusing, and recycling packaging. Since the launch of the strategy in August 2019, Tesco said has reduced packaging by more than 3,000 tonnes from its annual footprint.
In related packaging news, packaging giant DS Smith this week announced it has launched a partnership with packaging and machinery systems provider Krones to create a new fibre-based alternative to shrink wrap for multipack bottled drinks.
The companies said the new packaging - called ECO Carrier - has the potential to deliver a 71 per cent reduction in carbon footprint compared to plastic shrink-wrap, as well as being 100 per cent recyclable, produced from renewable sources, and being 100 per cent "planet safe".
"Our customers and consumers are demanding more sustainable solutions to replace problem plastic while integrating seamlessly with their production lines," said Marc Chiron, sales and marketing innovation director, packaging, DS Smith. "Through our work with Krones, we are able to help our customers reduce their plastic usage, increase recyclability and transition to the circular economy by providing fully-recyclable fibre-based alternatives through an easy-to-implement solution."