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    Tesco lasering avocados with product information in test to ditch stickers

    Lasered avocados are displayed by Tesco in this handout picture obtained on May 31, 2024. Tesco/Handout via REUTERS

    Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket group, is using lasers to etch product information on some of its avocados to avoid using barcoded stickers, in a trial it says will reduce plastic waste.

    The high-powered lasers remove a minute section of the top layer of avocado skin, leaving a tattoo that shows information for customers and cashiers, such as the size or variety of the fruit.

    All UK supermarkets are seeking to reduce plastic usage to meet their environmental commitments. Tesco is targeting net zero carbon emissions by 2050 across its operations together with those generated by the products it sells and its supply chains.

    Tesco said the avocado initiative was being made jointly with Britain’s main supplier – Lincolnshire, central England-based Westfalia Fruit.

    Tesco avocado buyer Lisa Gilbey said the move avoids the need for a barcode sticker that can easily be forgotten and left on when recycling household food waste.

    The trial is taking place in around 270 Tesco stores in southeast England and if customer feedback is positive will be rolled out across all its shops.

    A full roll-out would save nearly a million plastic stickers a year on its loose, extra large avocados.

    Tesco is also trialling replacing the plastic tray packaging for two of its most popular avocado lines and moving to a cardboard container that is easier to recycle.

    If rolled out that would save over 20 million pieces of plastic tray packaging a year from the twin pack avocado alone.

    (Reuters)

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