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Tesco bread in paper bag

Tesco has started selling many of its in-store bakery loaves loose and is removing plastic from some of its most popular sweet baked items.

In a move Tesco described as “rewinding the clock back to the days of traditional bakeries”, the retailer said it would be removing 33 million pieces of plastic from loaves of bread and doughnuts, and reducing the plastic used to pack breakfast pastries by more than 120 tonnes each year.

Nearly 25 of the supermarket’s in-store bakery bread lines are now being sold loose, although customers can request a paper bag.

Doughnuts will now be sold in a fully recyclable paper bag with a glassine window, while croissants and pain au chocolat will switch from plastic trays to a recyclable paper bag with a small plastic window. See below for a full list of products affected.

The pastries and doughnuts will be hand-packed in store into bags described as being structurally sturdy with a flat base.

Read: How are in-store bakeries evolving?

“Many of our customers remember the days when bakeries used much less plastic and we want to go further and faster in removing plastic where alternatives are possible,” said Tesco group quality director Sarah Bradbury

Tesco’s move was welcomed by climate action NGO Wrap.

“It’s positive to hear of further moves by Tesco to remove unnecessary packaging and tackle plastic waste,” said Wrap collaboration and change director Catherine David.

“We must continue to go further, particularly to remove soft plastics like bags and wrappers which is too frequently used needlessly.”

Tesco recently invited suppliers to a sustainability event to discuss new ways to eliminate plastic waste, and set out a new aim to work with suppliers to remove plastic from five billion own-label and branded products sold each year.

Tesco bakery packaging changes

Items switching to a paper bag:

  • Tesco doughnuts (five-pack of jam, custard and sugar ring varieties)
  • Croissants (two-pack of all butter, almond and chocolate varieties)
  • All Butter Pain au Chocolate (two-pack)

Bread lines being sold loose:

  • Tesco Hi Fibre Wholemeal Loaf 800g
  • Tesco Hi Fibre Wholemeal Loaf 400g
  • Tesco Hi Fibre Malted Loaf 400g
  • Tesco Hi Fibre Malted Loaf 800g
  • White Crusty Cob 400g
  • Crusty White Farmhouse Loaf 400g
  • Crusty White Bloomer 400g
  • Tiger Bloomer 400g
  • White Farmhouse 800g
  • Crusty White Sandwich Loaf 800g
  • Crusty White Bloomer 800g
  • Crusty White Split Tin 800g
  • Salt & Pepper Bloomer 800g
  • Tiger Bloomer 800g
  • Tesco Hi Fibre Six Seed Loaf 400g
  • Tesco Hi Fibre Six Seed Loaf 800g
  • Tesco White Farmhouse 800g
  • Tesco White Farmhouse 400g
  • Tesco White Bloomer 400g
  • Tesco Tiger Bloomer 800g
  • Tesco Tiger Bloomer 400g
  • Tesco High Fibre Six Seed Loaf 400g
  • Tesco High Fibre Granary Loaf 400g
  • Tesco High Fibre Wholemeal Loaf 400g