Tesco Introduces Laser-Etched Avocados In Bid To Save Plastic

Supermarket chain Tesco is trialling the scrapping of barcode stickers on XL avocados in store, replacing them with bold laser etching, as well as switching plastic packaging for cardboard.

Tesco sells nearly 70 million avocados a year and has seen demand for the fruit grow by 15 per cent in the last year. If the trial is successful and rolled out across all Tesco outlets, the changes could save more than 20 million pieces of plastic tray packaging from the twin pack avocado alone, increasing up to 25 million pieces across the pre-packed range. Alongside this it would remove nearly a million plastic stickers on its loose extra large avocados.

Tesco avocado buyer Lisa Gilbey said: “We're always looking for innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact of our products, and cut down on plastic waste in the home through changes to our packaging.

“We're really excited to hear customer feedback on our new laser-etched avocados, avoiding the need for a barcode sticker that can easily be forgotten and left on when recycling through household food waste."

The high-powered lasers remove a minute section of the top layer of avocado skin, etching size information on the fruit as directed by a computer program. In a third of a second the process essentially leaves a tattoo that shows information for customers and cashiers, including the size or variety of the fruit.

The trials will take place in around 270 Tesco stores in south-east England and if feedback from customers is positive, will be rolled out across all Tesco stores nationwide.