Press Centre

Asda Enlists an army of shoppers to reduce waste

Supermarket Asda is asking shoppers to help it identify over-packaged goods.

In a radical move, it is inviting customers at two busy stores to bring back examples of over-packaging so that it can put pressure on suppliers to reduce waste.

The results may bring the supermarket into direct conflict with some of the biggest brands in the country.

If the trial study is successful, the shopper-led programme, called “Leave It with Us”, may be extended to every Asda store across the UK.

Said Asda spokesman Dominic Burch: “Shoppers are our eyes and ears across our entire business.

“Each Asda store contains, on average, over 40,000 different products, so examining each one is a massive task.

“We want to reduce packaging waste as quickly as we can, so it makes perfect sense to enlist the help of an entire army of our most vigilant allies – our customers.”

Asda is already committed to reducing over-packaging on all of its own-label food products by 25 per cent over the next year. However, it now wants every supplier – including big brand names – to adopt the same zeal for stamping out waste.

Shoppers will be invited to return examples of over-packaging to huge wheelie bins in the foyer of each of two busy major Asda stores – York and Dewsbury.

They can also leave excess packaging in the bins as they leave each store after their shopping trip.

These will then be examined by Asda’s packaging experts, photographed, and the results sent to each supplier identified with an expectation that steps will be taken to reduce waste.

Asda will also provide each supplier with tried and tested practical advice on how to better present their products using less material.

Said Asda’s Dominic Burch: “Our customers are telling us that they want to see a lot less packaging on all products.

“This is a major step towards ensuring that everything we sell in our stores – regardless of who makes it – is made with the least amount of packaging required to protect and preserve that item."

Posted in Press Centre on 25 April 2007