In line with its ongoing commitment to ‘use less and recycle more’, UK-based retailer Asda is launching new packaging across its entire chicken range, a move that it projects will save 450 tonnes of plastic a year.

Reducing plastic packaging by up to 50% across the range, Asda is moving its selection of chicken out of plastic trays and into pouches in what it describes as a “supermarket first”, following a trial last year on mini-fillets and diced breasts.

Customers will see the new packaging launch on chicken thighs in the coming weeks and by the middle of summer, the full range, including whole birds, drumsticks, legs, diced breasts, and mini fillets will be in the new packaging.

Asda expects this move to make a “considerable difference” in terms of helping to tackle plastic pollution, with one in two households in Britain purchasing chicken in their weekly shop.

In addition, the retailer says that pouches support hygienic preparation of meals, with customers able to simply pour the poultry from-pack straight into the pan, without needing to pick the chicken up with hands or utensils.

Lisa Barratt, Asda’s poultry buying manager, said of the move: “The change in poultry packaging marks the next step in our commitment to use less and recycle more, something which we are very passionate about delivering for our customers and colleagues.

“The move means customers don’t have to prioritise plastic reduction over grocery decision making, ensuring the nation can continue purchasing quality poultry at the same price.”

The initiative is part of Asda’s long-term commitment to remove single-use plastic from its business. Since 2018, the supermarket says that it has removed 9,000 tonnes of plastic and has also committed to removing three billion pieces of plastic from its own-brand products by 2025.