Asda’s Sustainability Manager Laura Babbs explains our latest decision to reduce plastic use…

In retail, Christmas is a constant. It’s the busiest trading period of the year in our stores and as soon as one Christmas is finished, we’re on to thinking about the next one.

With our Christmas range coming into stores over the next couple of weeks, in the Sustainability team we’ve turned our attention towards what changes we can make to ensure that our products are even better for the environment next year.

We’ve been working hard to reduce plastic use right across our business, removing 6,500 tonnes of the stuff from more than 1000 own brand products in the last 18 months. This includes our Christmas ranges, where we’ve made changes such as removing plastic windows and film from more than 1.6m boxes that we sell each year.

We’ve also removed single-use plastic carrier bags from our stores and grocery home shopping, and have recently set out some ambitious new targets to use less and recycle more.

Now we’re looking at glitter. Most glitter is currently made of plastic, and we know that it can often wash or rub off products and that this has the potential to make its way into landfill or the waterways.

So, working with our suppliers, we’re committing that for Christmas 2020, we will remove glitter or replace it with a sustainable, non-plastic alternative on all our festive wrapping paper, greetings cards and gift bags, as well as on our artificial Christmas trees, festive houseplants and flowers.

It’s a simple move, but one that can have a big impact on the amount of microplastics – tiny plastic particles – that Asda and George products produce and it’s another step on our journey to use less and recycle more.

While plastic glitter may be going, Christmas at Asda will always sparkle – and now it’ll be better for the planet, too.