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Asda’s packaging purge to deliver ‘Green Rollbacks’

ASDA announced plans today to plough £10million into lowering prices as a result of reducing packaging on own brand products.

ASDA has taken the industry lead in removing excess packaging and has promised to ring fence all of the money saved to go back into customer savings.

In May ASDA will introduce ‘Green Rollbacks’ which follows on from ASDA’s wider commitment to reduce own label packaging by 25% by the end of 2008 – that’s 27,000 tonnes across 500 product lines.

ASDA’s packaging purge forms part of parent company Wal-Mart’s global commitment – as outlined by CEO Lee Scott last week in Kansas – to reduce energy costs for customers, promote ethical and environmentally responsible sourcing, and drive down the cost of health care.

“ASDA believes that going green should reduce the cost of living not increase it, and so every penny of the £10million saved as a result of this programme will be passed back to our customers,” explained ASDA Chief Executive Andy Bond.

“Our in-house packaging team will review every product in ASDA’s range, tracking by line the amount and type of packaging used across our entire range. Products that have had packaging reduced will be entitled to a Green Rollback which will ultimately lower the cost of living for our customers.”

Products which have already been repackaged and which could be in line for Green Rollbacks in May include:

- ASDA instant coffee – glass jar reduced in weight by around 25%.

- Ready meals – full cardboard sleeves replaced with watchstrap design or removed completely – resulting in 32% less cardboard.

- Fruit and veg – gauge of plastic used on salad bags reduced by a third.

- Organic fruit and veg – plastic packaging replaced with wood pulp trays and string netting, removal of plastic and non-recyclable materials.

- Lightweight glass on wine bottles – 300 tonnes of glass will be removed each year.

ASDA’s holistic approach to sustainability aligns to Wal-Mart’s three aspirational sustainable commitments; to be supplied 100% by renewable energy, zero waste to landfill and selling products that sustain the environment.

Further green commitments from ASDA include:

- Send zero waste to landfill by end 2010 including construction waste

- New stores consume 30% less energy by end 2009

- Existing stores consumer 20% less energy by end 2009

- ASDA brand products contain sustainable palm oil by end 2008

- Reduce carrier bags environmental impact by 25% by end 2008

- Fleet transport reduces CO2 emissions by 40% by end 2009

- 100% sustainable fish by end 2010

- End sale of filament light bulbs by end 2010

Posted in Press Centre on 31 January 2008