Tesco has launched an initiative to reduce toothpaste packaging to its essential elements and cut down on cardboard waste.

The trial is set to be enforced in almost 30 of the company’s stores, aiming to gauge consumers’ response to buying branded toothpaste such as Oral B, Sensodyne, Colgate, Aquafresh, and Corsodyl outside of its usual cardboard packaging.

It follows the company’s decision to remove the cardboard boxes from its own-brand toothpaste line last November, which aspired to save over 55 tonnes of cardboard per year. Tesco hopes that expanding its scope across brands and stores will increase this figure to 680 tonnes.

“We made a bold move to remove unneeded toothpaste boxes last November on our own brand and have had positive feedback from customers,” said Felicity Bexton, Tesco Oral Care Buyer. “Now we are working with the major toothpaste brands to join us on this journey.

Not only is there an opportunity to remove this needless packaging, but it also means being able to transport more tubes in the same amount of space, helping us take delivery lorries off the road too.

“We think that for customers the move make sense, because the first thing they do when they buy toothpaste is throw the packaging box away!”

Tesco hopes that the move will meet its ‘4Rs’ packaging strategy – remove, reduce, reuse, recycle – which, it claims, has already saved more than 3000 tonnes of packaging from its annual footprint since 2019.

Another recent trial with Loop enabled Tesco to test the effectiveness of prefilled reusable packaging in its stores. After the trial, it advocated for scalable reuse solutions and in-store education about sustainable packaging. Furthermore, 50% of Tesco shoppers participating in the trial reported that they did so “to do their bit for the planet”.

The company also announced in August that it would remove the plastic wrap from its own-brand drinks, replacing it with a mix-and-match multi-buy promotion at the same price as a current multipack.